Sunday, October 2, 2022

Brad Stevens final decision on Celtics coaching return: report

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The Boston Celtics turned to the media on Friday, September 23 when answering questions about the current situation regarding suspended head coach Ime Udoka.

During the press conference, Brad Stevens, President of Basketball Operations, was asked if he had considered returning to the bench as head coach for the upcoming season. However, Stevens, who was the head coach of the Celtics between 2013 and 2021, quickly shot down that talking point, noting that Joe Mazzulla was the best man for the job and he didn’t think a return to coaching would be good for any party involved.

“Joe is by far the best choice for this[to take on the role of head coach]. As you go through this whole process it hits you, but I think we have the best people to do it and Joe is the best person in our organization to do it… Absolutely not (would consider taking over as head coach ) … There are a lot of factors involved as to why I don’t necessarily want to do that, but I’ve told Joe I’ll be there for him without stepping on his toes.” Stevens said when asked about a possible return to the coaching bench.

As such, we can expect Stevens to remain in his front-office position going forward, meaning his current duties remain figuring out how to fill Boston’s three available roster spots while working alongside the ownership group at one continued investigation into the issues surrounding Udoka works.

Shortly after the Celtics announced that Udoka would be suspended for the upcoming NBA season, it was announced that assistant coach Joe Mazzulla would take over as head coach, effective immediately.

During the Celtics press conference on September 23, Brad Stevens noted that the timing of the situation is not ideal for Mazzulla, who has no head coaching experience, but that he is the right man for the job.

“Joe will be in charge. It’s not easy timing for him or the rest of the staff. But he is an exceptionally smart and talented person. I have a lot of faith in him and his ability to lead people, his ability to shake up a room and get behind it, and his ability to organize and understand everything that comes with leading a team throughout the season.” Stevens said.

Mazzulla, 34, has been with the Celtics since 2019 and got his first taste as a head coach when he was given the opportunity to manage Boston’s 2021 Summer League team – where he guided them to the Summer League Finals before defeating Davion Mitchell and who lost sacramento kings.

In another blow to what is quickly becoming a disastrous offseason for the Celtics, Robert Williams’ recovery time after knee surgery has been extended. Aaccording to a press release from the team, Williams is now likely to be out for eight to 12 weeks before he can be cleared to return to basketball activities.

To be clear, that means Williams won’t be able to participate in team practice until medical clearance. Once doctors finally sign off on his return, the bouncy big man will need to slowly restore his fitness to sustainable levels before returning to court.

Williams’ delayed recovery time is just another blow to the seemingly endless list of issues running across Brad Stevens’ desk at the moment. An off-season that started so promisingly has now turned into a nightmare and shows no sign of an end.

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