Celtics Likely to Retain Joe Mazzulla as Head Coach

Interim coach Joe Mazzulla is expected to keep his current job, with the “interim” tag being removed during the offseason, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.Joe Mazzulla

Mazzulla, of course, replaced Ime Udoka, banned for the season for what the team called an inappropriate relationship with a female employee. It is widely believed Udoka will not return — and that his coaching career may perhaps be over entirely.

In Boston, that means the door is open for Mazzulla, Udoka’s top assistant, to land the job on a permanent basis.

“For all intents and purposes, (Udoka) has coached his last game in Boston. This is uncharted territory certainly,” Wojnarowski said on SportsCenter, via RealGM. “Unless Ime Udoka takes another job this season elsewhere, it still may be an interim label until the end of the year.

“Mazzulla has handled this very well. He has a locker room of key players who were very fond of Udoka and still very fond of him. [Mazzulla] has certainly navigated that. He had his own relationships. You have seen him command the respect of this group, but how this team has performed. Continuing at a very high level.

“There’s every indicated that interim status will eventually leave and he’ll be on a long-term deal as the Celtics’ coach, but it may not be until after the season.”

The Celtics (12-3) have won eight straight, rocketing to the top of the Eastern Conference standings, through Wednesday’s games. 

Mazzulla, 34, has been an assistant with the Celtics since 2019. Before that, he was the head coach at Division II Fairmont (W.Va.) State. He spent the 2016-17 season as an assistant with Celtics’ G League affiliate in Maine.

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