Joe Mazzulla believes in his heart of hearts that Derrick White -- to some, the second-best player on the Boston Celtics -- deserves to be a first-time All-Star in 2024 for the mid-February Classic in Indianapolis.
"He's an All-Star," Mazzulla said (h/t Yahoo Sports). "(He's playing with) freedom, confidence, and empowerment from his teammates. A lot of the times when we want to settle the team down and we want to get to really good execution, we go to Derrick White pick and rolls. ...
"His teammates are empowering him, he's playing with a lot of confidence. And it's one of the reasons why we feel so comfortable with him at the point, is because of what he can do."
Former Boston Celtics championship guard: 'Extremely hard' for Derrick White to make All-Star Game
Former Celtics championship point guard Eddie House would vote for White himself, but he sees the totality of the Eastern Conference's talent pool at the guard spots making it "extremely hard" for the Colorado native to be a first-time All-Star.
"I think that he's doing a fantastic job and if it was my vote, I would vote him in there because of what he does and what he means to this team," House prefaced before saying, "But in the totality of everything, when you look at those names that I just mentioned, it's going to be extremely hard for him to be the third guy coming from this team. We know Jaylen (Brown) and Jayson (Tatum) are going to get there. It's going to be extremely hard for him."
Being the fourth-leading scorer on the Cs at 16.5 points per game with a good, if unspectacular, five assists per game average makes White the kind of player only fans of his team can appreciate in the grand scheme.
And that's okay, because Cs fans would rather see No. 9 on a championship roster in the future than see him make an All-Star Game. If anything, being an All-Star would take away his "best-kept secret" mantra he has owned since becoming a Celtic.