The Boston Celtics had an up-and-down first season with head coach Joe Mazzulla that ended in disappointment. Boston made the NBA Finals in 2022 with Mazzulla as a second-row assistant, but things unraveled quickly after that. Head coach Ime Udoka was suspended and later fired by the team. Will Hardy departed to Utah and Damon Stoudamire went to Georgia Tech. Mazzulla was chosen to lead the team, but his inexperience showed.
Boston went all-in after a disappointing campaign. They traded Marcus Smart for Kristaps Porzingis and just acquired Jrue Holiday. The Celtics are spending and doing everything possible to build a title-winning roster around Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Boston sacrificed some depth but has arguably the best top six in the NBA.
If they get off to a slow start, Mazzulla’s seat will get hot quickly. If he loses the locker room, the Celtics could move on midseason, and there will be plenty of eager candidates ready if the job becomes available.
Head coaches who could replace Joe Mazzulla if the Celtics fire him
6. Mike D’Antoni
The 72-year-old has 16 years of head coaching experience and has led his team to the conference finals three times. D’Antoni played four years in the NBA and 13 more overseas before jumping into the coaching ranks. He coached the Seven Seconds or Less Suns with Steve Nash and James Harden in Houston. D’Antoni is known for his innovative offense and ability to unlock his superstars.
Mazzulla is an offensive coach, and Mike D’Antoni’s experience alone would make him a candidate if the job becomes open. The 72-year-old has not been a head coach since 2020, but that does not stop his name from popping up whenever a contending roster is searching for a new coach.
Consider Mike D’Antoni an unlikely hire for the Boston Celtics. He is a marquee name with a ton of experience, but Brad Stevens and the front office could be focused on someone from their bench.