Joe Mazzulla and his staff will be coaching Team Giannis on Feb. 19 at the NBA All-Star Game after clinching the east’s best first-half record. He couldn’t be more thrilled about the honor, and is excited to see the new live draft format in action.
“I don’t care,” said Mazzulla, drawing laughs from reporters.
The news arrived Monday night following the 76ers loss to the Bucks. For the Western Conference, Michael Malone and the Denver Nuggets’ staff are the current favorites to coach Team LeBron.
Mazzulla found out he would be going to Utah while he was at dinner with his wife and a few friends.
“I was like ‘whatever,’ I had more important things going on,” he said.
Mazzulla made it seem like the news hadn’t moved him, whether he truly feels that way or if he’s downplaying his enthusiasm, but he recognized that it’s a cool opportunity for everyone involved.
“I’m really happy for our staff, I think it’ll be a great experience for our families.” he said. “Since this started, our staff has been able to come together and work hard together so I’m really happy for them.”
He also said it’s indicative of how the whole organization has operated, from the coaching staff to the players.
“It’s a testament to the staff, and the players have to play the games and they have to win,” said Mazzulla. “I’m blessed we have guys that work at it, and I appreciate their support.”
Coaching the All-Star Game is a fitting reward for a great season so far from Mazzulla and Boston. For now, the rookie head coach has more pressing matters to address. The Celtics snapped their three game losing streak on Saturday, but barely escaped a struggling Lakers team in overtime and face a tough test tomorrow against Brooklyn.
In the words of Mazzulla, what does the All-Star Game mean relative to all this?