Celtics HC Joe Mazzulla named coach of All-Star Game's Team Giannis
Interim head coach Joe Mazzulla and the rest of the Boston Celtics coaching staff have earned the right to coach Team Giannis at this year's All-Star Game.
It was announced on Monday that the 36-15 Celtics had clinched the best record in the Eastern Conference through February 5, meaning Mazzulla and his staff will get the honour of coaching the team captained by Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Celtics MVP candidate Jayson Tatum was also named a starter on Team Giannis, along with Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell, and the Brooklyn Nets duo of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
It continues a remarkable rise from obscurity for Mazzulla, who prior to the 2019-20 season had never coached in the NBA. He was recruited as an assistant for the Celtics after spending two years in his first head coaching role with division two college Fairmont State.
Mazzula spent two of his first three seasons on the Celtics bench under former head coach and current president of basketball operations Brad Stevens, before retaining his role when Stevens was promoted and Ime Udoka was brought in as the new head coach.
Udoka enjoyed a spectacular debut season as head coach, guiding the Celtics to the second seed in the East and taking them all the way through to the NBA Finals. But he was suspended indefinitely in the offseason after it was revealed he was involved in what was described as an "inappropriate, consensual relationship" with a staff member.
The Celtics have not missed a beat under Mazzulla's watch, sitting top-five in both offensive and defensive efficiency as they build a championship-level profile for the second season in a row.
Mazzulla is the third rookie head coach in the past 24 seasons to earn All-Star Game coaching honours.