Celtics assistant Joe Mazzulla talks about being on Danny Ainge’s shortlist of candidates to coach the Jazz

Former Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge has a reputation for thinking of unusual ways to solve problems when it comes to how he puts together teams. It is well-earned. It helped the former Celtics shooting guard deliver while he helmed the organization he won two titles with as a player in the 1980s.

So when Celtics assistant coach Joe Mazzulla found out his former boss had put him on the shortlist of candidates to become the next head coach of the Utah Jazz (where Ainge is now CEO of basketball ops after stepping down from the role in Boston at the end of the 2020-21 campaign) it surprised Mazzula less than it might have others.

“It was definitely surprising, but I think because Danny is Danny and a creative guy in how he thinks outside the box, that made it less surprising,” said Mazzulla to the Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach in a recent article.

“Not many people think the way he does,” he added, though the job ultimately went to then-fellow assistant coach Will Hardy. The consolation prize of continuing on in his current job with the Celtics is no participation trophy to Mazzulla, however.

“I’ve always said this is where I want to be, because being from here and working for the Celtics means a lot more to me,” he explained. “It’s close to my heart and family.”

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire