Celtics’ Joe Mazzulla to coach Team Giannis at 2023 NBA All-Star Game
This is just the third time in the last 24 seasons that a first-year head coach will guide an All-Star roster.
A year ago, Joe Mazzulla was usually relegated to the second row of seats on the TD Garden parquet.
Next month, the 34-year-old Mazzulla will be coaching Giannis Antetokounmpo and some of the NBA’s top stars in a premier showcase.
The league announced Monday that the Celtics interim head coach and his staff have been named to the 2023 NBA All-Star Game, set to be held on Feb. 19 in Salt Lake City.
Mazzulla and the rest of Boston’s staff will coach “Team Giannis”, which will go up against LeBron James and whatever roster the Lakers forward assembles.
Mazzulla was named coach due to his team’s current place in the Eastern Conference standings. With Boston holding a 2.5-game lead over second-place Philadelphia, the Celtics have enough breathing room to secure the best record in the conference through games played on Feb. 5.
Mazzulla, tabbed in September to replace Ime Udoka after the Celtics coach was suspended for “violations” of team policies, has led Boston to a 36-15 record so far this season. His latest appointment marks just the third time in the last 24 seasons that a first-year head coach will guide an All-Star roster.
Mazzulla and his fellow coaches will have some company in Utah. Jayson Tatum was named a starter for the All-Star game last week, while Jaylen Brown will likely earn a reserve selection.
Besides Antetokounmpo, it remains to be seen which players Mazzulla will coach in Utah. The rosters for Team Giannis and Team LeBron will be selected by their respective captains in a draft on the same day as the All-Star Game itself.
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