This Wasn't the First Time: NBA Coach's Faith Stunned Reporters 3 Different Times in Viral Moments


Boston Celtics Coach Joe Mazzulla wears his faith on his sleeve, so much so that it makes reporters uncomfortable.

The coach (whose team currently leads the Dallas Mavericks 3-0 in the NBA Finals) made headlines last week for doing exactly that.

As it turns out, however, this was far from the first time Mazzulla has thrown reporters off guard — and gone viral for doing so — by speaking up about his faith. He has done so at least two other times in recent memory.

Last week’s viral moment was especially notable, however.

On June 6, when a reporter asked Mazzulla to comment on the “historic” nature of the fact that two black coaches made it to the NBA Finals this year (the first time since 1975), Mazzulla dodged the question’s race angle.

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Instead, he responded by simply stating, “I wonder how many of those have been Christian coaches.”

One video of the exchange shared to X has garnered 1.3 million views.

The awkward silence that followed went viral on social media, but — as mentioned above — what many may not realize is, this is far from the first time Mazzulla has stunned reporters to silence with his faith.

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During last season’s playoffs, when Mazzula’s Celtics went down 0-3 to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals (they eventually went on to lose that series), a reporter asked Mazzulla how he was dealing with the media noise about his team’s dire situation, as reported by Fox News.

Much like his response from last week, Mazzulla’s answer silenced reporters and went viral. The coach shared his experiences meeting with three terminally ill girls, along with his perspective on giving thanks to God even when things aren’t going his way.

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“Honestly? I met three girls under the age of 21 with terminal cancer. And I thought I was helping them by talking to them, and they were helping me. And so having an understanding about what life is really all about and watching a girl dying and smiling and enjoying her life, that’s what it’s really all about,” Mazzula said.

“You always hear people give glory to God and say, ‘thank you’ when they’re holding a trophy. But you never really hear it in times like this. And so for me, it’s an opportunity to just sit right where I’m at and just be faithful. That’s what it’s about.”

A video of that exchange shared to X by prominent NBA account “NBACentral” has a whopping 3.4 million views.

Yet another example of the Celtics coach throwing reporters off guard came back in December 2022.

As reported by Fox News, a reporter asked Mazzulla what he thought about two members of the royal family — Prince William and Princess Kate — attending one of the teams’ games.

“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph?” Mazzulla asked in response. “”Oh no, I did not. I’m only familiar with one royal family. I don’t know too much about that one.”

Just one video of the 2022 exchange on X has racked up 8.8 million views.

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Michael wrote for a number of entertainment news outlets before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter. He now manages the writing and reporting teams, overseeing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of Manager of Writing and Reporting. His responsibilities now include managing and directing the production of commentary, news and original reporting content.
Ames, Iowa
Iowa State University
Topics of Expertise
Culture, Faith, Politics, Education, Entertainment