Joe Mazzulla clearly recognizes the elite talent on the Boston Celtics roster. The second-year head coach is thinking outside of the box. In a recent interview with The Athletic, Luke Kornet revealed the Celtics have been watching game film of English Premier League soccer team Manchester City. Like the Celtics, Manchester City has a roster full of world-class stars.
Pep Guardiola, City’s head coach, has his team playing an attractive soccer style, where everybody on the pitch shares the ball selflessly. Winning is the only goal. Mazzulla wants his team to learn from City’s selflessness.
“We watched some Man City stuff which was pretty engaging just in terms of how they are connected and moving the ball and just sharing,” Kornet told Jay King. “They play with an energy and life that I think is, yeah, you watch them put it together and it’s a pretty infectious style of play.”
As Adam Himmelsbach reported in November 2022, Mazzulla “religiously” studies soccer to find new ideas and concepts that are translatable to basketball.
— The Celtics Wire (@TheCelticsWire) October 26, 2023
“It was cool,” Mazzulla said of the film session. “We got to watch film of both teams and show, ‘OK, here’s what this looks like as a basketball possession.’ Then we showed some of the differences. It was just fun. It was great continuity, great conversation, great to have that feel. You have two programs that are really trying to achieve something.”
Mazzulla clearly believes in the lessons he can teach by showing footage from other sports. Elite-level teamwork is translatable across all team activities. If the Celtics are going to succeed in their goal of winning a championship, they will have to adopt a similar mindset to that of Manchester City.
Celtics fans can only hope Boston endures a period of success similar to Guardiola’s team, who have dominated European and English soccer in recent years.
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