Everything is coming up roses for Joe Mazzulla and the Boston Celtics. So it would be great if they could just dispense with the formality and name him as the Head Coach officially. However, the looming situation with Ime Udoka is preventing that for the time being.
Woj provided the following updates on SportsCenter (hat tip to RealGM for transcribing):
“Everything is aligned and in place for Joe Mazzulla to be the long-term coach for the Boston Celtics, except for one thing: Ime Udoka is technically still the head coach of the Boston Celtics, on suspension,” said Adrian Wojnarowski on ESPN. “For all intents and purposes, he has coached his last game in Boston. This is uncharted territory certainly. Unless Ime Udoka takes another job this season elsewhere, it still may be an interim label until the end of the year.
“Mazzulla has handled this very well. He has a locker room of key players who were very fond of Udoka and still very fond of him. [Mazzulla] has certainly navigated that. He had his own relationships. You have seen him command the respect of this group, but how this team has performed. Continuing at a very high level.
“There’s every indicated that interim status will eventually leave and he’ll be on a long-term deal as the Celtics’ coach, but it may not be until after the season.”
Barring unforseen developments, I would fully expect Mazzulla to get a long term contract in the offseason. Sooner if the Celtics and Udoka can work out some form of departure.