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Celtics’ Joe Mazzulla gives faith-based response to race question ahead of NBA Finals Game 2

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Boston Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla is prepping his team for Game 2 of the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks after blowing out their opponent in Game 1.

Mazzulla was asked Saturday during his media availability while the team practiced if he had any thoughts about what it meant to him to go up against another Black head coach in Jason Kidd. It was the first time since 1975 the NBA Finals had two Black head coaches.

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Joe Mazzulla points and yells out

Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla points during Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Dallas Mavericks, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Without any emotion shown, Mazzulla gave a witty response.

“I wonder how many of those had been Christian coaches,” Mazzulla said.

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There was silence for nearly 10 seconds before another reporter was called on to ask a question.

KRISTAPS PORZINGIS SHINES FOR CELTICS IN BLOWOUT WIN OVER MAVERICKS IN GAME 1

Jason Kidd on the sideline

Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd argues a call during Game 1 of the NBA Finals against the Celtics, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Yahoo Sports’ Vincent Goodwill, who asked the question, wrote in his column Saturday night that Mazzulla’s “unwillingness to discuss race (was) a complicated issue.”

Mazzulla took over as the Celtics’ head coach before the start of the 2022-23 season as Ime Udoka was forced out due to a cheating scandal. 

He helped guide the Celtics to the Eastern Conference Finals last season and then to the NBA Finals this time around.

He spoke to Sports Spectrum in April about his relationship with God and how it’s changed over the last few years and the “tug of war between humility and pride.”

Joe Mazzulla coaches on sidelines

Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla calls to players during the NBA Finals game against the Dallas Mavericks, Thursday, June 6, 2024, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

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Game 2 is set for Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.

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