Sunday, June 4, 2023

Report: Sam Cassell to join Joe Mazzulla, Celtics coaching staff as assistant

Sam Cassell has reportedly agreed to join the Celtics coaching staff as an assistant, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The former point guard, who won two championships with the Rockets (1993-94 and 1994-95 campaign) and one with the Celtics (2007-08) to end his career, has spent the last 14 years as an assistant coach with the Wizards, Clippers and the 76ers.

Cassell was Doc Rivers' lead assistant over the past three seasons in Philly, but it appears that there'll be a whole new coaching staff following the hiring of Nick Nurse last week by the Sixers.

This is likely the first of many new assistant coaches to be added to Joe Mazzulla's staff, as Brad Stevens enters the offseason and the Celtics are set to reportedly lose at least three assistants (to Ime Udoka in Houston) on the current staff -- that fell in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals to the Miami Heat.

Boston never replaced two assistant coaches during the 2022-23 season when Mazzulla was promoted to interim head coach last September or top assistant Damon Stoudamire when he was hired by Georgia Tech this past March.

Cassell comes to Boston with an impressive coaching resume and championship experience as a player who had a 15-year career in the NBA. 
"We're going to look for at least one addition to the bench, and he'll lead this charge," Stevens said his Thursday end-of-the-season presser. "We'll look for somebody that has a lot of NBA experience for sure."
Celtics legend Paul Pierce recently advocated for his former teammate and coach in Cassell to be hired by Stevens.
"You can't keep bringing in new voices," Pierce said of Boston's coaching situation on the latest episode of Showtimes' "Ticket and The Truth" Podcast. "I'm going to add to what I got right now. … I've got to add to it. It's already good! I've got to add to it. It's already there.
"So, I'm bringing Mazzulla back but maybe I'm bringing in a veteran coach, like Sam Cassell. Some influence on the bench. Respect. A champion. Been a coach. Understands what it takes."
Cassell was on the Wizards' coaching staff during Pierce's lone season in Washington during the 2014-15 campaign.

Joel Pavón

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