Joe Mazzulla Docuseries: Celtics Coach Relates to ‘Misunderstood’ Dog Breed

Joe Mazzulla Docuseries: Celtics Coach Relates to ‘Misunderstood’ Dog Breed
Image by the celtics Team

Boston has delved into the personal and professional life of Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla through their documentary “Mazzulla.” Over the past year, the series has given fans an intimate look at what drives Mazzulla, both on and off the court.

In Part 1, viewers saw how Mazzulla’s competitive spirit was honed, while Part 2 explored his unique daily mindset. Part 3, however, reveals a side of Mazzulla not often seen by the public, focusing on his faith, personal identity, and feelings of being misunderstood.

The episode opens with a reflection on a game from November 28, 2023, where the Celtics employed a “Hack-A-Drummond” strategy to ensure their advancement in the NBA In-Season Tournament. Despite its effectiveness, Mazzulla felt uneasy about the tactic, worried it contradicted his personal and faith-based values.

“After the game, I wasn’t happy. I felt a certain type of way about that. Because at the end of the day, you’re affecting another human,” Mazzulla shared. His conversation with his spiritual advisor, Father T, reassured him that his discomfort was a sign of his moral compass at work.

Mazzulla’s journey in basketball, from playing at West Virginia to coaching, forced him to continually reevaluate his identity. After injuries and the end of his playing career, he had to redefine who he was beyond the sport. “As I got into coaching, I had to reinvent myself because my identity had been in something that’s fleeting,” he said.

A significant moment in the episode is when Mazzulla introduces his family dog, a Rottweiler named Nike. He sees parallels between himself and the breed, both often misunderstood and judged by their exterior. “I think any time you become a head coach and a leader, you have to find a space to where, how can you make it yours? I didn’t really have the time to do that and I didn’t think it was the time or the place in Year 1,” Mazzulla explained.

Joe Mazzulla also shares his personal space, showing the video crew a rosary made from the original Boston Garden parquet and welcoming them into the chapel in his home. This personal touch provides insight into his grounding in faith and family.



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