This season has been a successful one for the Boston Celtics thus far, but it didn’t start off that way. There were a lot of speed bumps Boston had to overcome, including the suspension of former head coach Ime Udoka just a few days before training camp.
Joe Mazzulla was named the interim head coach of the squad, and as he was forming his staff, former NBA player JJ Redick was supposedly offered a position. During a recent interview with Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report, Redick revealed the reason why he didn’t join the Celtics coaching staff.
“I would love to coach at some point,” Redick said. “I don’t feel like the timing is right right now. And, speaking of timing – I’m at the end of the round, we’re having lunch, and I was like, ‘Joe, by the way, when do I need to be in Boston?’ And for some reason, my brain hadn’t quite grasped the fact that training camp was starting this week. That week, and so he’s like, ‘Tuesday, I need you there Tuesday for the first practice.’ And this was Sunday afternoon. And I’m like, alright, I don’t know if I can swing this.
Mazzulla was swiftly inserted as the interim head coach in Boston, as he was one of the few coaches that remained on Udoka’s staff from when Brad Stevens was the leader in Boston.
As for Redick, he has only been retired for a couple of seasons, but when he was in the league, he was one of the best three-point shooters in the business. Adding him to the staff would provide the Celtics with a great veteran presence and an elite shooter to help push Boston forward.
Redick in Boston for Golf
An interesting tidbit that Redick revealed was how quickly things moved. He said that he received a few coaching offers this past offseason, and within a couple of days, he met with both Brad Stevens and Joe Mazzulla.
“I got some unsolicited coaching offers over this past offseason, and the Boston thing just happened so quick,” Redick said. “You know, it was like a Thursday when the news broke. By Friday, I was talking to Brad. And by Sunday, I was playing golf with Joe.”
Redick Was Already in Boston
While the job offer was supposedly on the table, Redick wasn’t in Boston because of a meeting with the Celtics. He was already planning on playing golf with Austin Ainge, and Mazzulla just so happened to be the fourth member of their party.
“I think it was five days before the start of training camp. So, most coaches that are available already have a job, you know what I mean? Or their head coach is taking time off, and Joe [was] sort of sliding into that interim position, I think it was just like a unique thing. I was going up to Boston. To be clear, that was already planned. I was going up to Boston. My friend Ryan Hergerter, he throws this backyard party every year with a food truck and a band, and I’d never been. Our kids at the same age. So, I was going up there anyways. And anytime I take a trip, I try to get a round of golf in. So Austin, Danny’s [Ainge] son, and I were gonna play on Sunday morning, as it was, and then it just so happened that Joe ended up being the fourth.”