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Brad Stevens won't be with the Celtics against the Bulls

Boston Celtics head coach Brad Stevens during the fourth quarter of the Cleveland Cavaliers 89-77 win over the Boston Celtics in a NBA basketball game in Boston Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

Thursday night the Boston Celtics come to Chicago to play against the Bulls, but their bench will look a little different. Head coach Brad Stevens didn’t travel with the team and won’t be at the game.

In a statement posted to the team’s website, the Celtics said Stevens was traveling to visit a former player of his from his time as the head coach of Butler University. They asked that the private nature of the visit be respected.

In his place, assistant Coach Jay Larranaga will serve as the head coach against the Bulls.

With Butler, Stevens went 166-49 over six seasons and led the team to back-to-back national championship appearances. Over the last two-plus seasons under Stevens, the Celtics have gradually improved, including a trip to the playoffs last season.

The Celtics are 19-16 so far this year. In their first meeting with the Bulls from early December, the Celtics won 105-100 in Boston.