Celtics Coaching Staff Could See Major Changes After Ime Udoka News: Report

Joe Mazzulla and other members of the Boston Celtics coaching staff.

Getty Joe Mazzulla and other members of the Boston Celtics coaching staff.

The Boston Celtics have been thrust into more drama over the past week with the news that Ime Udoka will reportedly be joining the Brooklyn Nets as their new head coach. While the Celtics chose to let him leave for Brooklyn without seeking compensation, there were immediately some questions regarding Boston’s coaching staff.

Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe wrote that Udoka could potentially look to steal some of the Celtics’ assistants next season, as they all have connections to him.

“It’s tough to look very far ahead during such an unsettled time, but it’ll be interesting to see whether Udoka’s departure eventually has substantial ripple effects on Boston’s coaching staff,” Himmelsbach wrote. “Remember, he filled his staff almost exclusively with friends from the Portland area with whom he shared deep bonds, such as Damon Stoudamire, Aaron Miles, and Ben Sullivan.”

Simultaneously, if the Celtics choose to roll with Joe Mazzulla as their long-term option as head coach, he could want to bring in some of his own choices.

“And if Mazzulla signs a long-term deal, he probably would want to have some say in building his own staff. But don’t expect any changes this season,” Himmelsbach stated.

Celtics Front Office Like Mazzulla

As Mazzulla sort of stumbled into the job, he has always had the Udoak situation lingering over his head. But now, he’ll get to coach the Celtics without having to think about Udoka coming back to replace him in a year.

“Udoka’s departure also will remove another distraction for the Celtics that was sure to surface during an inevitable rough patch of the season,” wrote Himmelsbach. “This way, there will be no questions about when or if Udoka would return to replace Joe Mazzulla. There will be no shadow.”

All that being said, the Celtics front office is supposedly very fond of Mazzulla.

“The Celtics front office remains quite high on Mazzulla, and he’ll get every opportunity to secure a long-term contract,” said Himmelsbach.

So far this season, the Celtics have struggled a bit, jumping out to a 4-3 start to the season. Despite that, Mazzulla has repeatedly noted his confidence in this team, and the Celtics have reciprocated that respect.

Celtics Guard Backs Mazzulla

Marcus Smart spoke to Himmelsbach about Udoka’s departure and subsequent choice to join the Nets. While he expressed his disappointment that Udoka will be coaching a rival, he said that he loves Mazzulla and fully supports him.

“It’s tough. It makes no sense. But we can’t control that. We have to control what we can, and I love the team here. I love the coaching staff. I love Joe.”

Mazzulla first joined the organization in 2016 as a coach for the Maine Red Claws (now known as the Maine Celtics) and then re-joined the organization in 2019 as an assistant under Brad Stevens. He was then one of the only people to remain with the team when Udoka took over.

Now, it seems as though Udoka will be coaching against Boston, and the future of the rest of the staff could be in question past this season. But as the Celtics continue to navigate this weird time, they have the utmost faith in Mazzulla to lead them.

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