After the Boston Celtics were eliminated by the Miami Heat, Celtics legend Paul Pierce said that the Celtics should stay the course with head coach Joe Mazzulla but should look to add his former teammate and three-time NBA champion to the team
“You can’t keep bringing in new voices,” Pierce said on the June 2 episode of “KG Certified.” “I’m going to add to what I got right now. I’ve got to add to it. It’s already good! I’ve got to add to it. It’s already there. So, I’m bringing Mazzulla back, but maybe I’m bringing in a veteran coach, like Sam Cassell. Some influence on the bench. Respect. A champion. Been a coach. Understands what it takes.”
Since retiring from the NBA in 2009, Cassell has made a name for himself as an assistant coach, as he has been an assistant with the Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Clippers, and currently, the Philadelphia 76ers. Cassell has been an assistant under former Celtics coach Doc Rivers from 2014 to 2023, though he may very well join Rivers if and when the former Celtics coach gets his next head coaching gig.
Cassell won two other titles in his first two years in the NBA with the Houston Rockets in 1994 and 1995, on top of the title he won with the Celtics in 2008.
Kevin Garnett & Paul Pierce Voice Frustrations at Celtics
Pierce and Kevin Garnett did not hold back when voicing their anger at the Celtics in their Game 7 loss against the Heat.
“I watched the first two minutes of how the C’s came out! I don’t like that energy! That’s not energy to beat you!” Garnett exclaimed.
Garnett said that the Celtics of old used to have gorilla energy, which the current Celtics team did not have.
“When P (Pierce) get in there, he had two types of P’s. One P where he was like, ‘All right, come on y’all. I’m saying we should beat these guys. I don’t want to be out here all day,’ boom, we get out of here. When P wanted to blow somebody out, P get in the huddle and go… ‘Hey look, let’s go ahead and send a message to these n****s right here.’ We finna get in, and that energy was like, ‘Aw s***, we gorillas tonight!’ They didn’t have that.”
Pierce was not happy with how they covered Caleb Martin.
“They should have put Martin on his ass a few times,” Pierce said. “He just kept going to the rack. He hit threes…I would have been like…”He goes to the ground. Imma send him to the baseline and put him on his ass. He supposed to fall. He supposed to take the hit.”
Danny Ainge Believes in Joe Mazzulla
While talking with Dan Shaughnessy of The Boston Globe, Former President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge praised Mazzulla for how he handled himself in the 2022-23 season.
“This team found joy. They were inconsistent, but they were rooting for each other. They were all defending Joe in the media,” Ainge told Shaughnessy. “You see Joe’s toughness and stubbornness. He’s a relentless worker. He has a passion to learn. Joe is a leader, and I think this was a difficult situation with the high expectations the team had coming in. I don’t think there’s anybody there that doesn’t believe that Joe is better than Ime (Udoka) as a coach.”