Christian Celtics Coach Wears Shirt With Incredible Message After Finals Victory: ‘Let Me Thank God’


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As the Boston Celtics celebrated their record-setting 18th NBA title with a resounding 106-88 victory over the Dallas Mavericks Monday night, head coach Joe Mazzulla wore a shirt that resonated deeply with his personal beliefs. Emblazoned with the words, “But First… Let Me Thank God,” the shirt symbolized a profound message that echoed through the arena on a night marked by historical significance.

The Celtics’ victory, clinched on the 16th anniversary of their 17th championship win in the same venue, was propelled by stellar performances from Jayson Tatum, who scored 31 points along with 8 rebounds and 11 assists, and Finals MVP Jaylen Brown, who added 21 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists. However, the story of the night was as much about the Celtics’ on-court brilliance as it was about Mazzulla’s resilience and faith.

Despite coaching through the entire playoffs with a torn meniscus, Mazzulla’s determination never wavered. In a candid post-game interview with ESPN, he shared insights into the personal challenges he faced during the season. “Hey, guess what? I gotta have knee surgery. I tore my meniscus in March after we lost to Atlanta. So the first thing I gotta do is get back on the mat,” Mazzulla revealed, indicating his plans to return to MMA training, which he credits with mentally preparing him for the rigors of the NBA season.

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Mazzulla’s Christian faith has been a cornerstone of his identity, a fact he has openly discussed in past interviews. “I am half African-American, half Italian. But most importantly, the decision that I made in my life, I’ve decided to not look at my lens through either one of those, and I’ve decided to look at my lens through that of which is Christianity. And so my identity is in Him first, and that comes before anything else,” Mazzulla explained in a previous interview.

“And that’s just been important to me because of what He’s done for me in my life, the people that I have around me that have brought me there, and it’s important for my wife, and it’s important for my family. It doesn’t mean that it’s any more important than any other lens to which we can look at. But for me and my house, we will serve the Lord and we’re going to look at the lens of life through that of Christianity and everything that comes with it,” he continued.

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With the playoffs included, Mazzulla’s coaching record stands at an impressive 148-54, which translates to a winning percentage of .729. Among all NBA coaches who have helmed at least 200 games, Mazzulla boasts the highest winning percentage.

However, Mazzulla’s journey to the top of the NBA is marked by an unconventional path. Before becoming head coach of the Celtics, his coaching resume was highlighted by a two-year period at Fairmont State in West Virginia, where he achieved a record of 43-17 and guided his team to the NCAA Tournament during his second year. Originating from Rhode Island, Mazzulla’s basketball career included playing at West Virginia University, a stint as an assistant with the Celtics’ G League affiliate, and then a return to the Boston Celtics in June 2019 to join Brad Stevens’ coaching staff.

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Scoop Diggins