Celtics HC Joe Mazzulla Confirmed signing of Forward from Lakers

Celtics HC Joe Mazzulla Confirmed signing of Forward from Lakers



The Eastern Conference All-Stars will no longer be coached by Celtics’ interim head coach, Joe Mazzulla, this coming weekend.


They’ll be coached by Celtics’ full-time head coach, Joe Mazzulla, instead.


The organization officially removed the “interim” tag from Mazzulla’s title Thursday morning after guiding Boston to the NBA’s best record (42-17) heading into the All-Star break. The decision signals the franchise’s satisfaction with the job that the 34-year-old New England native has done through the first half of the season, as well as its trust in him leading the team forward.

“One of the things that’s pretty obvious and evident about Joe is he’s a really good coach and he’s also just an outstanding leader,” Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens said during a conference call with the media Thursday evening. “I think he’s done a great job, right from the get-go of, galvanizing a locker room around a mission.

“I give him a lot of credit, I give our players a lot of credit, and I give the staff a lot of credit. And, as far as the timing of it … they’ve obviously done a great job, they’ve put themselves in a position to compete for the things we want to ultimately compete for thus far. And I want to give them the opportunity to finish the regular season strong, hopefully the postseason strong, and not be in a cloud of uncertainty. I think that they certainly have earned that and, Joe specifically, has just done a great job. I mean, he really has. He’s always prepared, he’s really driven, he does all of the work necessary, but he also has a pulse on when the work needs to be put aside for the people.”

Mazzulla, who hopped on the conference call after Stevens, expressed how overjoyed he is to officially step into the role and how appreciative he is to not have that cloud of uncertainty looming over his head as he tries to lead the Celtics to a championship.

“I’m just grateful,” he said. “Grateful that not many people get an opportunity to experience this, especially in the manner that I am with the players that I’m able to coach and the people I’m able to work for, and it’s for the Celtics. It is a dream come true, for sure.”

Even before Mazzulla had the official head-coaching tag placed in front of his name, he always felt that Stevens and the rest of the front office had his back in the long run. It took very little time for him to prove himself after joining the team in 2019, and his hard work helped his rapid ascension to become the youngest head coach in the league.


“Ever since I’ve been here, even as an assistant, I’ve always felt their support, I’ve always felt their communication, I’ve always felt their honesty,” Mazzulla said. “So I always knew exactly where I stood, even though it was an interim position, I knew exactly where I stood. I knew I would get a fair shake, an opportunity. I knew that I was going to be able to do the way that I thought to give you the best chance to be able to be successful because of that. Because of their standard and their communication and how they treated me as an assistant, I just felt comfortable regardless.”


Knowing the type of leader that Mazzulla is, Stevens is confident that the young coach will lead his team in the right direction. The former West Virginia University point guard has not only gained the trust of the basketball operations staff, but also of the players in his locker room for the way in which he treats and respects them.


“I know Joe will work his tail off, I know Joe will give everything he has to lead, and I know he gives a damn about everybody in that locker room,” said Stevens. “Like he really cares. It eats him up when something doesn’t go well individually for a guy. It eats him up when he feels like he’s let the team down. He’s not going to ever come in and say, I wish this person or this person or this person would’ve done their jobs better. He’ll always say the opposite.”


Mazzulla has displayed an ability to bring the team together on the same page in the pursuit of their ultimate goal. With that mindset, the hope is that the 19th head coach in Celtics history will lead the journey to the 18th banner in team history.

“We’re really excited about him leading us now,” said Stevens, “and leading us into the future.”

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