Boston Celtics Head Coach Joe Mazzulla Has No Time for Those Who Can’t See Past Skin Color

AP Photo/File

The 2024 NBA Finals are presently underway, with, at the time of this writing, the Boston Celtics enjoying a 2-0 lead over the Dallas Mavericks. During a Saturday, June 8 press conference with Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla, the following exchange transpired between Mazzulla and Yahoo! Sports writer Vince Goodwill.

GOODWILL: Hey, Joe. Vince Goodwill, Yahoo Sports. For the first time since 1975, this is the NBA Finals where you have two black head coaches. Given the plight, sometimes, of black head coaches in the NBA, do you think this is a significant moment? Do you take pride in this? How do you view this? Or do you not see it at all?

MAZZULLA: I wonder how many of those have been Christian coaches.

The subsequent roaring silence was delicious.

Goodwill, once he sufficiently recovered from Mazzulla’s snappy answer to his stupid question, proceeded to whine … er, opine at length on the matter. Some sample slices of aggrieved pie.

Race is one of the defining issues in this country, and it's not easy to talk about, but when one avoids it, it adds fuel to an already complicated fire.

Mazzulla did not avoid the subject. He ignored it in favor of a question that cuts through the racial hysteria progressives love to whip up so they can either justify their failures by claiming victimization or preen as superiors over others due to their “obvious” higher moral standard. To Mazzulla, who has previously unhesitatingly discussed his faith, faith matters more than race. The apostle Paul’s words come to mind.

Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

This verse blunts Goodwill’s next assertion.

Shockingly, and this may come as a surprise to the Celtics coach, it is possible to be both Black and Christian.

Where and when did Mazzulla give the slightest inclination he thought otherwise? Goodwill is either unable or unwilling to grasp that Mazzulla has the two items sorted differently priority-wise. Skin color is acknowledged but not predominant when seen through faith's eyes. As Martin Luther King Jr. said:

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

Goodwill next attempts the interesting tack of simultaneously criticizing Mazzulla’s answer while admitting it left him dumbfounded.

He didn’t expound on it, he didn’t elaborate what it meant for him to be a Christian in this spot. He brought religion to the party but didn’t choose to explore the conversation.

It could be viewed as using that device to halt any discussion on the topic at hand, just an abrupt stop. And to be fair, there wasn’t a follow-up question, just the awkward silence — which could’ve been Mazzulla’s desired effect.

It is never an interviewee’s job to ask questions of the interviewer. Goodwill could have followed up with something along the lines of “So you’re saying color doesn’t matter,” but he wasn’t fast enough on his feet to go there. Or, he was too cowardly to say it in a situation where Mazzulla could respond. Best to hide behind a computer and pound it out, presumably writing while standing as sitting was doubtless uncomfortable.


Goodwill’s petulant screed replying to Mazzulla’s refusal to play the victimhood game is unsurprising. The leftist mind is fiercely determined to view all multi-faceted issues through a monochromatic prism of its own creation. Mazzulla and Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd are not where they are because of affirmative action or attempts to make up for past injustices. They are coaching in the NBA Finals because they have outstanding teams under them that they have placed in the best position to win. Period. Unfortunately, this is insufficient for the perpetually pouting.


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