Boston Celtics stars Jayson Tatum & Jaylen Brown gave major respect to first year head coach Joe Mazzulla for the job he did this season.
(via Boston Celtics):
Reporter: “How would you look at Joe, who had a tough start, obviously thrown into that position as the interim, and then you guys grew as a team. How would you look at what Joe was able to do with you guys all season and, as you went along, grow with him?”
Tatum: “I mean, it was his first year, we got to the Conference Finals Game 7. I don’t think people give him or us enough credit that two days before the season starts, we find out we’re going to have a new coach. We didn’t have Rob [Williams] the first 25, 30 games of the season, we never got a chance to have Gallo (Danilo Gallinari), and we got a new coach one day before Media Day. That was an adjustment, and we all figured it out. Obviously, we wanted to win the championship. Didn’t happen. But I think Joe did a great job. We won 50-some odd games. We got to the Game 7 Conference Finals. Obviously, everybody can be better, learn from this, but I think Joe did a great job this year.”
Reporter: “How do you evaluate the job Joe [Mazzulla] did from taking over just a few days before training camp, kinda dealing with all the emotions that came with that situation, to then showing up for the first time as a head coach in the playoffs and dealing with kinda the ups and downs of this playoff run?”
Brown: “I give Joe my respect. Tough situation to be in. He took it, and he took it head on and ran with it. We had two rookie head coaches in the last two years, and Joe picking up from Ime [Udoka] as an interim starting off and then progressing as being the head coach, just fully took that challenge on and led us to this point. That’s a tough position for a guy to be in. It’s a tough position for a team to be in. Coming off of a Finals run, but we didn’t make any excuses and I’m not making any excuses now. We came up short, but I still give my respect to our coaching staff and that group that we had on the floor.”