Brad Stevens was back at Butler University on Saturday.
The former Bulldogs coach was not back on the sideline, but on a stage at commencement. The Boston Celtics coach accepted an honorary doctorate from the school where he cut his teeth for 13 years as an assistant and head coach. He joked about himself receiving a “fake degree,” but he also offered some wisdom during his 10 minutes at the podium.
He used to be a “box-checker,” he said, simply studying to pass the test, get his diploma and move on. His time at Butler changed that.
“One of the things I did at Butler was that I started to learn the value of learning, to learn the value of growing,” Stevens said. “It really had a huge impact on me when I started becoming a learner instead of a box-checker.”
Anyone who has ever sat through a college graduation and watched Stevens’ speech know he was unusually brief in his remarks. Stevens did touch on this past Celtics season, which ended with the team’s first trip to the NBA draft lottery in seven years.
“I was just part of a season that didn’t go very well,” Stevens said. “And it was interesting because my day-to-day approach didn’t change, because of what I learned at Butler. What I learned and I want to share with you is, don’t let your attitude be controlled by the circumstances.”
“The magic,” he added, “is in the work.”
Watch Stevens’ address in the video below.