How Joe Mazzulla Reacted To Celtics Officially Naming Him Head Coach

'It is a dream come true, for sure'


February 16

The last several months surely have been a whirlwind for Joe Mazzulla.

Mazzulla went from an obscure assistant on the Boston Celtics to in a flash being named the interim head coach of a team with clear NBA Finals aspirations in the wake of the Ime Udoka scandal.

And after guiding the Celtics to a league-best 42-17 record at the All-Star break, the Celtics fully committed to Mazzulla by removing the interim tag and officially naming his head coach.

“It is pretty wild,” Mazzulla told reporters Thursday evening, as transcribed by MassLive’s Brian Robb. “A lot going on, but like I said, I’m just grateful. 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.”

Mazzulla said he found out Tuesday prior to the matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks that the process of his promotion was underway. The deal, which included a contract extension for Mazzulla, was finalized just over 24 hours later once the Celtics dispatched the Detroit Pistons.

Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens certainly has trust in Mazzulla and that feeling, whether it’s for the head coach or the franchise, is mutual for the youngest head coach in the NBA this season.

“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,” said Mazzulla, who joined the Celtics coaching staff in 2019. “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.”

Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images
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