The Boston Celtics announced that Ime Udoka is no longer a franchise member and promoted interim Joe Mazzulla to head coach. As readers likely recall, the Boston team suspended the former head coach for having inappropriate relations with a team staffer. Moreover, the news quickly captured the pop culture world given his former relationship with Nia Long. Furthermore, the Celtics' president of basketball operations Brad Stevens issued a statement addressing the team's next chapter.
“As he has shown, Joe is a very talented coach and leader,” he remarked. “He has a unique ability to galvanize a room around a mission. We are thankful for the work he has done to help get us to this point, and excited that he has agreed to lead us into the future.” As reported, the Celtics suspended Udoka for a year with no pay due to his consensual but improper and highly publicized scandal. In fact, it also destroyed his chances at stepping in as head coach for the Brooklyn Nets. While many believed that the official removal would come after the suspension term's end, they took a big step in charting their future.
Moreover, Mazzulla worked hard to push the Boston team to the best record in the league (42-17). In addition, he formed trusting relationships with the players and might score their potential first championship since 2008. However, things weren't always that easy for the longtime coach and his new team. Many Celtics players felt frustrated at poor transparency regarding Udoka's removal, since he almost won them a title last June. Marcus Smart told The Boston Globe, “Obviously, we wish he was here. We have no control over that. I guess it was deemed that whatever happened was enough for him not to be the coach here, but I guess not enough for him [not] to be a coach anywhere else, obviously.”
Meanwhile, Mazzulla spoke with professionalism and dedication about being in the middle of a rift between players and the organization. “I just have a job to do,” he expressed. “Just focus on that. The guys are bought in. They trust me for the position that I’m in. And I just can’t take that trust for granted. I’ve just got to do my job, whatever we’ve got to do to win. And it will figure itself out.” As always, come back to HNHH for the latest NBA news and more updates on the Boston Celtics.