Joe Mazzulla has the same trust in his Boston Celtics players now that dismissed former head coach Ime Udoka had with his players, says WEEI's Justin Turpin -- who believes Boston's roster is largely over the fact that they'll never finish the story with the latter.
"While the fact that the Celtics never got a chance to finish what they started with Udoka last season will probably still sting, all parties appear to have moved on – and it was long overdue," Turpin wrote. "Udoka laid the groundwork, providing the tough love Boston’s star core needed. Now, Mazzulla has helped them reach that next step, gaining the same trust Udoka did."
The Celtics destroyed Udoka's Houston Rockets 145-113 on January 13, and while some saw shots taken at Udoka from certain players, the tone after the contest was only positive after the game when the Cs he coached were asked about him in the postgame presser.
Boston Celtics stars simply happy to see Ime Udoka again in Rockets blowout
Much has been made of the relationship Udoka had with his Celtics even after he was gone and had Mazzulla take over in his stead. While Jayson Tatum did say that the team moved on from feeling much about the Udoka situation, he did sound like someone who misses the Houston head coach as a person.
"Yeah, I got a chance to see him,” Tatum said (h/t MassLive). “I got a chance to talk to him. Haven’t seen him since, maybe it was at (Marcus) Smart’s wedding? So it was just good to see him again and all the other guys on the staff.”
Jaylen Brown got sentimental explaining his close relationship with Udoka and what it was like seeing him again.
“It was cool, you know what I mean,” Brown said. “Anytime you get into bump into familiar faces, friends. It was great to see Ime, it was great to see the guys on the coaching staff who we was in the Finals and the trenches with. It’s good to see those guys, spent a lot of time with them, watching film, things like that. That relationship is always going to be there.”
Udoka has more bad blood than the Cs do, by a substantial margin, especially after the 32-point loss in his TD Garden return.