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Report: Celtics Don't Plan to Remove Joe Mazzulla's Interim HC Tag amid Ime Udoka Ban

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVDecember 27, 2022

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 16: Boston Celtics interim head coach Joe Mazzulla directs his players during the second quarter of the game against the Orlando Magic at TD Garden on December 16, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images)
Photo By Winslow Townson/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics reportedly don't plan to make any final decision regarding removing the interim tag from head coach Joe Mazzulla until the end of the 2022-23 season.

According to Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe (h/t HoopsHype), Mazzulla is "well aware" of the situation and is prepared to coach the Celtics for the remainder of the season.

Ime Udoka, who was the Celtics head coach last season, received a season-long suspension in September because of his involvement in an inappropriate relationship with a Celtics staffer.

Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Udoka used "crude language" with the female staffer prior to entering into a relationship with her, which played a role in his suspension.

Following the announcement of Udoka's suspension, the decision was made to make Mazzulla the interim head coach, as he had been a key assistant in Boston's staff since 2019.

According to Himmelsbach (h/t HoopsHype), Udoka's suspension will end on June 30, and that while the Celtics may have privately given Mazzulla a sense of what their plans are, no decision will be made until the offseason unless Udoka accepts a head coaching position elsewhere before then.

As of now, it is difficult to envision the Celtics doing anything other than giving Mazzulla the full-time head coaching job.

At 24-10, the Celtics are the top team in the NBA, and both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are enjoying career years that should result in All-Star selections.

The Celtics went through some trials and tribulations under Udoka last season, but they hit their stride during the second half of the campaign, finished the regular season 51-31 and reached the NBA Finals before falling to the Golden State Warriors.

The 34-year-old Mazzulla has the Celtics in position to potentially return to the Finals this season, and it isn't outside the realm of possibility that they could win it all this time around, as they seem to be an even more complete team.