Home Basketball Sam Cassell will educate Joe Mazzulla and Celtics how one can win a championship

Sam Cassell will educate Joe Mazzulla and Celtics how one can win a championship

Sam Cassell will educate Joe Mazzulla and Celtics how one can win a championship


LAS VEGAS — Sam Cassell stood alongside the baseline all smiles ready for Victor Wembanyama to debut together with an area filled with NBA followers, gamers, media and personnel. He laughed when requested if his return to the Celtics means extra appearances by Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett — his former Boston teammates. For certain, he mentioned.

Positive sufficient, when the Celtics arrived on the area to face the Wizards on Sunday, Pierce strolled to his seat alongside the sideline for a July sport that includes gamers who’ll probably reside in Maine this season.

“That’s the one purpose,” Cassell mentioned. “It ain’t about making convention finals as a member of the Celtics, the teaching employees and the gamers. It’s all about profitable the championship. That’s the custom in Boston — win the championship. Taking part in for guys who gained beforehand for us, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Russell, Cousy, Maxwell, the historical past goes on. It’s about them. That’s the factor that our guys have to know. It’s a pleasure factor.”

Cassell, like different members of the 2008 crew, can’t cease speaking about it. It made him a Celtic for all times, and he remembers it because the spotlight of his profession. They turned a household, pushed one another and demanded one another’s finest. Then, the banner made their legacies untouchable. Now, he’ll attempt to describe that feeling to the younger Celts.

Charles Lee, Phil Pressey, Amile Jefferson and Cassell did the identical, attending Summer time League as they started assembly Joe Mazzulla and Boston’s gamers. Boston employed Cassell away from the 76ers after Philadelphia fired Doc Rivers, who Cassell coached alongside during the last 9 seasons. He regarded ahead to the brand new alternative as he continues to strive climbing the NBA teaching ladder to go coach after quite a few interviews in recent times.

“Proper after the playoffs was over, (Mazzulla and I) bought collectively, had a few cellphone conversations and he requested me, to start with, if was I considering coming, becoming a member of the employees. I simply instructed him it could be an honor, you recognize, I even heard from anyone else. It was a chance that I used to be trying ahead to and I feel Joe is an incredible coach. I’m right here to only assist them simply, you recognize, to take pleasure in that. We’ve got an incredible crew and I gained’t change his mentality, that’s who he’s, however I’m gonna assist him take pleasure in it just a little extra. That’s all.”

Cassell emphasised his three a long time of steady expertise within the league offering him data of practically each scenario and position. His veteran position on the 2008 Celtics championship crew ought to serve him finest main this group, arguably essentially the most gifted within the league and on the verge of a championship.

That’ll require connecting and involving gamers throughout the roster, although Cassell clearly arrived to mentor Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and the crew’s different headline expertise making an attempt to interrupt by as champions. They turned fairly good gamers throughout their first six seasons collectively, Cassell thought, however that doesn’t suffice to win on the highest stage. Cassell will stress each continued progress on their half and — as a former level guard — passing

“It’s going to be enjoyable,” Cassell instructed CLNS Media/CelticsBlog. “It’s going to be difficult, however being an expert coach on this sport is difficult, so I’m trying ahead to it. It’s gonna be enjoyable. We bought an incredible group of fellows and we’ve a mission to perform. As a participant, my final yr taking part in basketball, I used to be a member of the Celtics … I do know what it takes to win a championship. The entire make-up of it.”

“It is a golden alternative for us,” he continued. “It ain’t simple. I do know what it feels prefer to win a championship in Boston … it’s life-changing. I’ve been retired from the sport of basketball for 15-16 years, and it’s nonetheless life-changing … understanding what profitable a championship in Boston is about. That’s our motivation to go far, however it’s not simply gonna be (Brown and Tatum). It is a crew sport. It is a crew sport. Even from the highest guys right down to the fifteenth man on the crew, we’ve all gotta be collectively collectively. That’s the place I do know I’m nice at, ‘keep within the second,’ … which implies for those who’re taking part in 5 minutes, play the very best 5 minutes you’ve performed in your life.”

Cassell additionally turned Mazzulla’s first rent after Will Hardy, Damon Stoudamire, Ben Sullivan and several other improvement coaches left the group alongside Ime Udoka. Mazzulla wanted to formulate his system, philosophy and ideas in a matter of days and within the months after watched it waver in ways in which turned tough to regulate.

Mazzulla relied on Stoudamire as a former participant in the same position earlier than Georgia State employed him in April, one other gap on the employees the Celtics tried and failed to exchange earlier than a playoff letdown. Sullivan and others in Boston acknowledged how tough the yr turned.

That clears up after a full summer season the place Mazzulla can tweak the system, Cassell and Lee can settle into their roles and meet the gamers, whereas those that wished to depart the group may. Celtics Summer time League coach and long-time assistant Tony Dobbins in contrast the modifications alongside the sideline to roster churn, which Boston additionally skilled this summer season.

“Figuring out (Cassell) from afar and competing in opposition to him, it’s completely different clearly,” Dobbins mentioned. “I’m trying ahead to having the ability to work carefully with him, however simply expertise. A ton of expertise that (Lee and Cassell) carry to the desk. They’ve seen a whole lot of conditions, so trying ahead to them. For me personally, to be taught from them. These are guys who’re extra skilled and have extra years of service than I do, so I’m trying ahead to choosing their brains and finally, the purpose is to assist Joe as a lot as attainable. Make Joe’s job simpler. That’s what the entire employees will attempt to do.”

Cassell hopes to middle the crew’s deal with profitable a championship no matter outdoors distractions, commitments and ventures on the roster. You’ll be able to’t maintain your self accountable for altering the world, he mentioned. Profitable is all that issues to him upon arrival, and he’ll be sure it’s the one factor that issues to the gamers.

In any other case, he needs to supply the calming presence they undoubtedly wanted throughout a number of the current disaster moments within the playoffs. He needs the gamers to embrace expectations. Some struggled to handle the criticism and a focus concerned with taking part in because the crew in Boston and the NBA with the most important championship expectations. That’s a problem and a blessing, one which he noticed carry the very best out of different gamers and will do the identical for this crew.

“Gosh, you recognize, to win large on this league, there’s strain,” Cassell mentioned. “However typically you’ll be able to have enjoyable with strain as nicely. Strain bursts pipes, however it may possibly additionally make diamonds.”



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