Joe Mazzulla Fires Back at Ex-Celtics Champion Kendrick Perkins

Joe Mazzulla

Getty Joe Mazzulla

Before the Boston Celtics played the Indiana Pacers, Joe Mazzulla re-confirmed the Celtics’ injury report. He confirmed that Kristaps Porzingis was questionable, Luke Kornet was doubtful, and Al Horford was out.

After a reporter sarcastically asked for his medical expertise, Mazzulla returned the sarcasm in kind, saying, “I’m a bird brain. You know I can’t do that.”

Mazzulla’s response here is him firing back at former Celtics champion Kendrick Perkins, who called him a bird brain.

After the Celtics lost to the Denver Nuggets on January 20, Perkins used a bird to illustrate who Mazzulla thinks.

“They have two Joe Mazzullas,” Perkins said on NBA Countdown. “They have the one that got the philosophy of we’re going to get up more 3s than you. When they hit them, he looks great. Then you have the other Joe Mazzulla, who just stands over there, and you wonder. If you take his brain out and you put it in a bird, the bird is going to start flying backwards. You got that Joe Mazzulla.”

Perkins then explained why he made that comparison.

“You know why I say that? It’s because he doesn’t get his guys easy looks. Time and time again, we kept saying, attack the paint. You have so many guys that are great at cutting. They cannot continue to play AAU-style basketball all the time. You gotta have sets.”

For someone who supposedly doesn’t do that as Perkins alleges, Mazzulla has the Celtics playing at an excellent level. The Celtics entered January 30 having the NBA’s best record at 36-11.

Joe Mazzulla Calls Out ‘Entitlement’ Narrative

After the Celtics beat the New Orleans Pelicans on January 30, Joe Mazzulla talked about the narrative that the Celtics should always be ahead.

“The first half there’s like this sense of entitlement like we’re just supposed to play amazing basketball every quarter, every game, and that’s just not how it works,” Mazzulla told reporters, per NBC Sports Boston.

Mazzulla also revealed what he told his players at halftime when the Pelicans were ahead.

“I said to the guys at halftime, ‘We gave up 24 points (in the second quarter). It was 25-24. We won the quarter after giving up 36 (in the first quarter).’ This expectation that it’s supposed to go a certain way all the time can be extremely unhealthy, and we have to just continue to play regardless of whether we’re down five, up eight. It doesn’t matter.”

Joe Mazzulla Expresses Trust in Oshae Brissett

Before the Celtics faced the Pacers, Joe Mazzulla gushed about Celtics forward Oshae Brissett. He explained to reporters why Brissett has played more for the Celtics.

“He’s continuing to earn trust,” Mazzulla told reporters, per CelticsBlog’s Noa Dalzell. “I think he’s played really well. It started with the Miami game. The third or fourth game of the year when he came in and changed the energy of the game. So he’s been doing that. He’s picking up matchups in our defensive system much better, and I trust him completely. So every guy we put in the game we have a level of trust in, and he’s in that boat, too. We went to him last night with two bigs being out, and everyone on that roster I trust.”

Brissett played for the Pacers from 2021 to 2023 before joining the Celtics.

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