When the Boston Celtics officially suspended head coach Ime Udoka, the club simultaneously named assistant Joe Mazzulla the interim head coach. The 34-year old has been with the team since 2019, and has known president of basketball operations for even longer. This will be Mazzulla’s first stint as an NBA head coach.
At Boston’s Media Day All-Star Jayson Tatum shared how he felt about Mazzulla as a coach, especially in this moment. Not only is Mazzulla stepping in as interim coach on extremely short notice, but he’ll be leading a Celtics team eager to make another deep postseason run. Tatum knows it will be a collective effort.
“We’re going to have to help him,” Tatum said. “And he’s going to have to help us.”
We’re all in this together,” observed the Celtics star forward. During the ’22 Finals, Tatum offered high praise when asked about Mazzulla. A few months later, his tune hasn’t changed.
How does Tatum know Mazzulla is ready for the job? Here’s what he had to say.
“Because I know how passionate he is about helping others,” began the St. Louis native.
And that’s really who he has been, he’s been a great help to myself, to other guys, to the team as a whole during the last few years that he’s been here. He’s motivated, and I think if you’re motivated, then you’re going to be successful. We’re going to have to help him, and he’s going to have to help us. We’re all in this together.”
“It’s not like somebody new, he’s the same guy we know, just in a different kind of position,” added Tatum.
“I’m just looking forward to playing basketball, honestly,” continued the Duke product.
Boston will play four preseason games before tipping things off against the Philadelphia 76ers. Mazzulla will join former Celtics assistant Will Hardy as two of the youngest head coaches not just in the league but in NBA history.
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