The start of training camp represented the first opportunity for Joe Mazzulla to get reps as an NBA head coach outside of Summer League. When asked what went through his mind driving into the first day of practice, he responded, "I drive a minivan. That’s probably the first thing that goes through my head, and I’m not changing it."
The Johnston, Rhode Island native's comfort level with who he is will take him a long way as he goes from sitting behind Boston's bench a season ago to seizing the reins.
As for his assessment of how day one of training camp went, Mazzulla conveyed, "I saw an eagerness to get out on the basketball court, I saw a competitive nature, and I saw an attention to detail about where we are and where we're trying to go."
Mazzulla isn't about to overhaul the approach that got the Celtics to the NBA Finals last season; his focus is on building on what worked without glossing over the team's weaknesses.
"My goal is to make sure that guys are comfortable. As a staff, in the past, we’ve done a great job of doing that. If I can collaborate with them on how we're going to go about making them comfortable and then deciding together where we need to evolve on both ends of the floor is what's going to help us create our identity."
Mazzulla also shared, "I tried to end today's (practice) being on the court with the guys. That's something that I miss and something that I wanted to be able to do. There are moments where I'm walking around like, 'what am I supposed to be doing right now?' but for the most part, I love being out there with the guys, and they're great guys, and that's where I find my joy, and that's where I want them to get theirs."