The Boston Celtics look like arguably the best team in the world. They’re 12-3 (best record in the NBA) and are currently riding a league-best eight-game winning streak. Despite all the negative attention the squad has garnered regarding the Ime Udoka situation, the Celtics haven’t missed a beat. 

Boston’s ability to stay composed and play at a high level through all the controversy is a testament to the players but also to interim head coach Joe Mazzulla. And according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Celtics plan on rewarding Mazzulla by eventually shedding his interim tag:

“Everything is aligned and in place for Joe Mazzulla to be the long-term coach for the Boston Celtics, except for one thing: Ime Udoka is technically still the head coach of the Boston Celtics, on suspension. For all intents and purposes, he has coached his last game in Boston. This is uncharted territory certainly. Unless Ime Udoka takes another job this season elsewhere, it still may be an interim label until the end of the year.”

Mazzulla is the youngest coach in the NBA at just 34 years old. He entered the Celtics coaching ranks in 2019 when the team hired him to be an assistant coach. Before he was with the Celtics, Mazzulla spent time as an assistant with Boston’s G-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, and was also the head coach of the Fairmont State men’s basketball team, a Division II program, during the 2016-17 campaign. Without professional head coaching experience before his time with Boston, Mazzulla came into this job as an unproven coach, but he has now proven he belongs.