The Boston Celtics have won the 2024 NBA championship, capping off a historically dominant run in front of their home crowd. Joe Mazzulla helped Boston get over the hump in dominant fashion, making Boston the first NBA team to raise 18 banners.

While the Celtics did face a lot of teams that suffered injuries to their best player in this year’s postseason, they were not without some bad injury luck of their own. Kristaps Porzingis missed all but seven of Boston's 19 playoff games due to a rare leg injury while Luke Kornet (wrist) and Xavier Tillman Sr. (personal reasons) each missed a game, too. Even Mazzulla has been nursing an injury for months that he only now will get a chance to get surgery on.

In a postgame interview with ESPN, Mazzulla revealed that he needed to undergo knee surgery for a meniscus he tore in March after a loss to the Atlanta Hawks. “I'm gonna be out a little while,” he said.

Over the past few years, Mazzulla has become well-known for his wild and hilarious quotes and unique messages that inspire his team. The fact that he was dealing with a serious injury for so long and kept it under wraps is certainly not expected but also not too surprising for Mazzulla, one of the most interesting characters in all of basketball. Adding to his charm is his effectiveness as a head coach, especially at such a young age. In one of the most high-profile teams in all of sports, he has done nothing but win.

Joe Mazzulla wins championship in second season as Celtics head coach

Mazzulla has won 121 games so far through two regular seasons and led the Celtics to at least the Eastern Conference Finals in each season. Although Mazzulla did inherit a very good team, he grew as a coach and made the right adjustments to unlock a great roster. Plus, he was able to steer Boston all the way to the championship for the first time since 2008.

After spending two seasons coaching under Brad Stevens and one more coaching under Ime Udoka, Mazzulla took the top job as one of the youngest head coaches in the league. At 35 years old — younger than Celtics center Al Horford and over a dozen other active NBA players — he became the youngest head coach to win the title since 1969 when Bill Russell led Boston all the way as a player-coach.

The Celtics won 64 games in the regular season and had plenty of other indicators that they were one of the best teams in NBA history. Their 11.6 net rating ties the 2016-17 Golden State Warriors for the third-best mark of all-time by a single team. They led the NBA in offensive rating, three-pointers made and attempted, defensive rebounds and blocks this season while finishing in the top three of defensive rating and shooting percentage from inside and outside the arc and committing the fewest turnovers per game. They also won nine straight road games in this year’s playoff run, one of the longest streaks in NBA history.

The suggestion that any coach could have won a championship with this roster undermines how well Mazzulla did in his job. Sure, plenty of great coaches could have won it all with such a talented team but Joe Mazz was far from a passenger. He instilled trust in his players and made good decisions along the way. As he revels in his team’s championship, he'll also go under the knife to fix his knee.