As we await particulars following the information that Ime Udoka probably faces a suspension for a consensual but inappropriate and intimate relationship with a feminine staffer, it seems that lead assistant coach Joe Mazzulla is ready to step up because the interim head coach for the 2022-23 Boston Celtics, in keeping with Adrian Wojnarowski.
Mazzulla was simply promoted to guide assistant within the offseason after final yr’s lead assistant, Will Hardy, was employed by the Utah Jazz to teach that group. Mazzulla was a finalist for the Jazz place as effectively, demonstrating that his teaching has acquired recognition exterior of the staff. Mazzulla is likely one of the holdovers from Brad Stevens’ teaching employees, so he has rapport with a number of the gamers that goes again just a few years.
Joe Mazzulla performed in faculty at West Virginia earlier than going undrafted within the NBA. His teaching profession began out with Glenville State earlier than he made his method to the Maine Crimson Claws as an assistant in 2016. Mazzulla has been with the Celtics since 2019, so he’s seen his fair proportion of turbulence with the group.
Mazzulla probably faces the large job of navigating what’s turning right into a whirlwind of a season. With accidents to key gamers like Danilo Gallinari and Robert Williams III along with what’s been reported about Udoka, there will probably be lots of non-basketball storylines for Mazzulla to guide the staff by means of.
A couple of months in the past, Ime Udoka had nothing however optimistic issues to share in a Sports activities Illustrated story on Mazzulla:
I talked to all people within the group once I received employed, gamers included, and he received glowing critiques. I didn’t know a lot about him going into it, however I take the gamers’ opinions at a excessive worth, and he was a man that was a consensus sure.
Moreover, Jayson Tatum added to the reward:
I really like Joe. I feel simply being round him for the final, I feel that is his third yr, perhaps second or third yr, you possibly can inform how passionate he’s in regards to the guys and his craft. And he’s gotten a lot extra educated, and extra detailed, and extra vocal and extra comfy in his position as a coach. You’ve seen the expansion from his first yr, and he’s helped me out tremendously as a participant and an individual. So, (I) can’t say sufficient good issues about Joe, and all people appreciates what he brings to this staff, and I’m glad that now we have him.
We’re nonetheless ready for additional particulars on Udoka’s suspension, however within the meantime, it’s clear that if Mazzulla does certainly have to step into the position, a minimum of he has the backing and confidence of these within the group.