Joe Mazzulla Will Return As Head Coach For Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics Joe Mazzulla

The Boston Celtics announced that Joe Mazzulla will return as head coach next season, team president Brad Stevens announced on Thursday.

“Yeah, I think he is,” Stevens told reporters when asked if Mazzulla is the best coach to lead the team.

Brad Stevens Supports Joe Mazzulla

Despite the Celtics being eliminated in the Eastern Conference Finals, Mazzulla has Stevens’s full support going forward.

“I thought he did a really good job with this group. Everybody’s going to overreact to the best players and coaches after every game. That’s always the way it is,” Stevens said. “We know that going in, so we have to be able to judge things on the whole. He’s a terrific leader. He’ll only get better at anything that he can learn from this year, because he’s constantly trying to learn. He’s accountable. Those leadership qualities are hard to find. I know they’re easy to talk about, but when you can show all those through the expectations and the microscope that he was under, that’s hard to do.”

Mazzulla became the interim coach in September 2022 after the Celtics suspended Ime Udoka for the season following a violation of team rules.

In his first year, Mazzulla led the Celtics to an NBA-best 18-4 record to start the season. The Celtics earned the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference Finals with a 57-25 record.

Despite receiving heavy criticism after the Celtics fell behind 3-0 to the Miami Heat, Mazzulla helped Boston rally back to win three straight games before losing Game 7 on their home floor.

Mazzulla needs to bring in a new coaching staff after Celtics’ assistants Ben Sullivan, Aaron Miles and Mike Mose reportedly left to rejoin Udoka in Houston. Damon Stoudamire also left the Celtics to become Georgia Tech’s coach in March.

Boston Celtics Need To Make A Decision on Jaylen Brown

The other pressing issue the Celtics now face is the status of All-NBA forward Jaylen Brown, who is eligible to sign a five-year supermax extension worth more than $285 million on July 1.

Brown struggled down the stretch in the Heat series, shooting 1-13 from three in Games 6 and 7, to go along with 12 turnovers abysmal. However, Stevens made it clear that he wants Brown to remain a Celtic.

“I can say without a doubt we want Jaylen to be here,” Stevens said. “And he’s a big part of us. And we believe in him and I’m thankful for him.”

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