Joe Mazzulla on why he ‘absolutely endears’ media criticism

It may be just his second season as head coach of the Boston Celtics, but Joe Mazzulla is already navigating the pressures that come with the job with relative calm. As he explained Wednesday night ahead of Boston’s tilt against the Brooklyn Nets, Mazzulla believes he knows what it takes to have a constructive relationship with criticism from fans and from the media.

Mazzulla was specifically asked about an apparent slight he made in response to commentary from ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins. Mazzulla side-stepped the opportunity to directly comment on any one piece of criticism, and instead outlined how he manages the expectations and noise that comes with the job.

“I’ve grown to absolutely endear it and love it,” Mazzulla said. “And think it’s beautiful.”

“As I said before,” he continued. “If you wish for things here to be different, it comes with the job and the expectations, it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. You just can’t take yourself too serious. You should laugh at yourself and laugh at other people. You should love yourself and love other people. The key is to have fun while you’re doing it.”

Mazzulla was raised in New England, and understands the sometimes extra attention that is paid to coaches and stars. As he explained, it’s his job to manage that commentary so it doesn’t become a distraction or burden.

“This is the responsibility you have is handling that, handling those expectations and trying to embrace them,” Mazzulla said. “I don’t believe in ignoring the noise. I just don’t believe in that because you’re not going to ignore something negative but then wish to get praise.”

“You should hear both of it,” Mazzulla continued. “And you should decipher what’s true. And then you just kind of move on from there.”

It was a pretty effective rebuttal of some of the negative press Mazzulla has received since taking over as head coach. In the interest of having fun, however, Mazzulla made sure to offer a bit of candor and color to his comments.

“I once took this class and emotional intelligence,” Mazzulla quipped. “It said everybody is ten percent right. There’s some people that are closer to two percent.”

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire