Celtics' Joe Mazzulla clarifies 'worst coach ever' comment

Joe Mazzulla clarifies 'worst coach ever' comment originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Boston Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla had an awkward hot mic moment after his Thursday press conference.

“I am the worst coach ever,” Mazzulla was heard saying as he left the podium.

The remark seemed like a sarcastic response to the criticism he has received lately. But before Friday's Game 3 showdown vs. the Philadelphia 76ers, he insisted that was not the case.

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"Yeah, I apologize," Mazzulla said. "We had just gotten back from film and I missed an opportunity to show appreciation to one of our guys. And so, time with the guys is sacred in film. I had just been informed that (Marcus) Smart won the NBA Hustle Award, and we went through an entire film session and I didn't show my appreciation for him. And then I think someone here asked me about it, and my eyes lit up and I was like, 'What an idiot.'

"So as I was signing off, I was just like, 'damn' and then I texted him right away. It's important. I think in situations, I know it's about team and our guys do that, but I really love showing appreciation when guys get individual awards. Especially like that one because of the sacrifice they put into it and the work that they have. So if I do do something like that, I do think I need to be better."

After Boston's Game 2 win over Philly, Mazzulla closed his press conference by asking reporters, “Nobody wants to ask about all the adjustments we made from Game 1 to Game 2?” His "worst coach" comment appeared to be another not-to-subtle shot at the critics, but his explanation should put an end to the speculation.

Mazzulla and the C's will look to take a 2-1 series lead over the Sixers when they face off Friday night in Philly.