Though the Boston Celtics just endured a heart-wrenching defeat to the slumping Houston Rockets, still arguably the biggest storyline pertaining to the franchise is the recent departure of assistant coach Damon Stoudamire.
Agreeing to serve as the next head coach for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, Stoudamire leaves Boston with just a handful of games remaining until the start of the 2023 NBA postseason which, in turn, has been the subject of controversial discussion amongst a bevy of fans and media pundits alike.
However, when it comes to the Celtics players, there appears to be no love lost between them and their former assistant coach. In a post-game media session following the club’s latest loss to the Rockets, Jayson Tatum discussed his feelings on Stoudamire’s exit from the franchise.
“I’m happy for him. It’s as simple as that,” Tatum said. “[He’s] extremely deserving [and] I’m excited [about] what he’s going to do there. You know, we all just wish him the best, loved the time that we had to be around and spend with him. But, you know, when an opportunity like that comes around, you have to take it.”
Stoudamire served as Joe Mazzulla’s lead assistant throughout his final season on the Celtics’ staff and even served as the interim head coach while Mazzulla was forced to miss two games in late December with corneal abrasions in both of his eyes.
The C’s would go 2-0 during this stretch while outscoring their opponents by an average of 15 points.
Stoudamire Emotional at First Georgia Tech Press Conference
The former Celtics assistant held his introductory press conference as Georgia Tech’s new head coach just one day after news broke of his hiring.
While addressing the media, Stoudamire held back tears in front of his microphone as he was overcome with emotion while processing his recent career choice.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Stoudamire said following a round of applause from those in attendance.
Georgia Tech marks Stoudamire’s second stint on the sidelines at the NCAA level, as he served as the head coach of the Pacific Tigers from 2016 through 2021, winning WCC Coach of the Year honors back in 2020.
Celtics Star Sounds Off After Latest Loss
Following the team’s most recent loss to the Houston Rockets, Celtics star Jaylen Brown sounded off on Boston’s lack of effort on both ends of the ball during a post-game media session, going as far as to state that they deserved to lose considering how they performed.
“Taking care of the little things,” Brown said, “Execution. We lost tonight, not really on execution, but lack of effort, not doing our job, the hard stuff, the little stuff is what adds up. The offensive rebounds and loose balls, turnovers. We didn’t deserve to win today.”
Despite Brown’s 43 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block performance, the championship-aspiring Celtics couldn’t seem to put away the lottery-bound Rockets.
Ending on a botched lay-up attempt by Jayson Tatum at the final buzzer, Boston went on to lose the contest by a final score of 111-109, subsequently furthering the gap between them and the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks who currently reside in the number one seed within the Eastern Conference standings.