Story behind Stevens’ departure for Celtics
by Zak Keefer, Indianapolis Star
Brandon Gaudin sat in the front seat of his car, which sat in the parking lot of a Michaels arts and crafts store, which sat in the sweltering heat of the Ft. Worth, Texas, summer. His air conditioning hummed while his emotions raced.
An email had just flashed across his phone. “STEVENS HIRED BY CELTICS” read the subject line.
In town visiting family, Gaudin, the radio voice of Butler basketball, had stopped by Michaels to pick up a Father’s Day gift. Now, that would have to wait.
This had to be a joke…
Surely, he would’ve heard about the head coach leaving before a press release popped up on his phone. Wouldn’t he?
Frantic, he fired off a text message to Josh Rattray, the Butler sports information assistant who’d sent the email out moments earlier.
“Haha,” Gaudin wrote. “That’s funny.”
Six hundred miles north of the Michaels parking lot, Roosevelt Jones lay flat on his back in a tattoo parlor in St. Louis. He was getting some new ink: A pair of wings covering his chest.
A text message rolled in. “Call me ASAP,” it read. It was from Brad Stevens.
But Jones, at that point Butler’s top returning player for the coming season, couldn’t call anyone – not until the tattoo was finished. While the needle stung his skin, his mind scattered in anticipation.
What could this be about?
A half hour later, he called his coach. Stevens spoke slowly, his carefully chosen words laced with torment.
“I’m not going to be your coach next season,” he began.
Jones stopped him.
“Could you say that again?”
As Championship Day wound down at the Brad Stevens Butler Basketball camp that afternoon, Alex Barlow checked his phone. He had a text from assistant coach Michael Lewis.
“Team meeting at 5:30,” it read. “Be there and be on time.”
Nothing serious, Barlow assumed. Most of the players and coaches were headed out of town that night, eager to spend the Fourth of July weekend with family. The meeting, he presumed, was probably called to discuss the schedule for the week they returned.
Barlow, a junior point guard for the Bulldogs, was off to his hometown of Cincinnati. He had Reds … [For more on The day that rocked Butler: Story behind Brad Stevens' departure for Celtics, click here.]