Woj: Questions remain following Celtics' suspension of Ime Udoka (2:16)

Adrian shared his thoughts on the news conference and the handling of Ime Udoka's suspension. 2 minutes later.

7:02 PM AST

Everyone outside of the Northeast may be wondering why the Boston Celtics will have an interim head coach for the NBA season.

I don't know who Joe is.

In the wake of Celtics coach Ime Udoka being suspended for the entire 2022-23 season for having an intimate relationship with a female member of the franchise's staff, he has been elevated to interim head coach.

Within basketball circles, the move continues a rise for the man. He has been the head coach of the team that is projected to have the most wins in the NBA.

Since Lawrence Frank took over a team that reached the NBA Finals in 2003-04, the youngest head coach has been 34 years old. When the New Jersey Nets fired head coachByron Scott, Frank took over.

He is the youngest to start a season since Bill Russell in 1966-67, when he was 32 years old.

The youngest head coach in the NBA is tied for the distinction with Utah Jazz coach Will Hardy, who was hired in the summer by Danny Ainge.

The two of them had the same expectations for the season. The Jazz were sent into a full-on rebuild after Ainge traded away Gobert and Mitchell.

A championship contender coming off a magical run to the Finals is going to be taken over by a coach with only two years of head-coaching experience.

Here is a look at the young coach's past experience and the task ahead of him.

Mazzulla's road to the NBA

He played for West Virginia from 2006 to 2011 and was a part of the team that went to the Final Four in 2011.

He was arrested a couple of times. He pled guilty and paid a fine in a case of domestic battery in 2009, a case that was settled out of court.

During his five years as an assistant coach in the Division II ranks, he worked with Glenville State and Fairmont State, both in West Virginia.

For a long time, the Celtics were high on him. He was hired as an assistant for the Maine Red Claws in the G League in the summer of 2016 and went on to work for the NBA. Brad Stevens was the head coach of the Celtic's at the time.

Joe Mazzulla coached the Celtics during the 2021 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

After one season in the G League, he returned to Fairmont State as its head coach and went 43-17 in two seasons.

Udoka came on board in June of 2021.

The day before Game 6 of the NBA Finals, Udoka said that he was a guy that there was a consensus around. The players all worked closely with someone who believed in and comprehended his upside.

The Jazz head-coaching job went to Udoka's top assistant last season, and according to Adrian Wojnarowski, there was a candidate for the job this summer. The Celtics kept him in Boston despite the Jazz wanting him to join their staff.

Before Game 6 of the Finals, the man who loves Joe said he loved him. He is very passionate about his craft. He has gotten a lot more vocal. He's more comfortable as a coach. From his first year, you have seen growth.

What lies ahead for Mazzulla and the Celtics?

It is not possible to know what will happen. While people will immediately think about what Udoka's suspension will mean, it is behind the scenes and in the locker room where he will be missed the most.

When Udoka arrived in Boston last summer, he challenged the team's best players to improve. Udoka wasn't afraid to say how he felt about the team's play, and he pushed the duo to become better creators.

The Boston Celtics blew a 25-point lead to the New York Knicks in January. You need a calming presence to slow it down and give us what we want. Sometimes we are caught up in it.


Brad Stevens and Wyc Grousbeck are the co-owners of the Celtics.

At times, Udoka's criticism was seen as a negative. Boston ended the season with the best record ever for a team that was under.500 at the halfway point. They became the first team under.500 halfway through the season to win the title.

A lack of experience on Boston's bench has been caused by the combination of Udoka's suspension and Hardy's departure. Stevens spent a lot of time in the role but still has a lot of work to do in the front office. Maybe Boston will add a veteran assistant coach to give some insight.

It was only a few weeks ago that a group of NBA coaches, scouts and executives decided that Boston was the winner of the NBA's summer league.

The Celtics start on the eve of training camp. They are reeling from the sudden loss of Udoka, but they also saw their top free agent signing tear an knee while playing for Italy.

A team that was viewed as one of the clear favorites to advance to the NBA Finals just a few weeks ago has been thrown into chaos just days before training camp begins.