Out of all the new faces being added to Boston‘s coaching staff for this upcoming campaign, probably the most notable is Sam Cassell. The former Sixers assistant coach, who is also a three-time NBA champion, had spent most of the past decade side-by-side Doc Rivers.
Ever since the legendary coach was discharged from Philadelphia, he was looking for the new-best opportunity to grow and the Celtics were the obvious choice.
“Right after the playoffs was over, we got together, couple phone conversations,” Cassell shared about his first negotations with Joe Mazzulla. “Asked me if first of all, if I was interested in coming here, join his staff, the Celtics, I just told him it’d be an honor.
“I hadn’t heard from anybody else. It was an opportunity that I was looking forward to. I think Joe’s an amazing coach. I’m here to just help him just let him enjoy that we have a great team. I won’t change his mentality, that’s who he is. But I’m going to help him enjoy it a little bit more.”
#Celtics assistant Sam Cassell talks about joining Celtics staff:
“Joe made this happen. He’s watched me work a couple of guys out before and wanted to understand my personality and how I link to players. We have some mutual friends that he contacted, and we just made it work.” pic.twitter.com/ryDS3GQQEK
— The Celtics Files (@CelticsFiles) July 9, 2023
As many of Ime Udoka’s former assistants are now joining him in his new adventure in Houston, several important roles were left to be filled in the Boston coaching staff. Cassell now joins ex-Bucks assistant Charles Lee to complete Mazzulla’s top team of advisors.
The former Celtics player believes he has earned the knowledge to bring a unique perspective to the team, as he expects the head coach to take advantage of his expertise.
“I’ve been, as a player, I’ve been every player from the best player to the 15th man on the team,” he explained. “I know how each player feels so I can relate to each and every one of them. The guy who gets the ball all the time, the guy who doesn’t get the ball. I won a championship in Boston and I was maybe the 8th or 9th man.”
Cassell hopes to be a figure that can help unite the entire roster. “Some nights I played, some nights I didn’t play but I was always in the gameplan and that’s my message to them. You got to be in the gameplan, you got to be in the moment to seize the moment,” he said.
Cassell expects to keep building a roster around their main stars, besides the fact that Marcus Smart and Grant Williams left the club
Even though the Celtics have let go Marcus Smart and Gran Williams, two very important figures that have been a part of their success in recent years, he’s taking it upon himself to help create the ideal formula to provide support for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Check out Cassell’s complete-first interview as the new Boston assistant coach given this week:
“Both guys, they want to be great,” Cassell said of the team’s main stars. “They are pretty great basketball players. But just being good don’t cut it. Understanding what winning a championship in Boston is about, man, that’s the part that can be a motivation for both of them. But it’s not just going to be them two. This is a team game. This is a team sport. Even guys from the top-down to the 15th man, we all gotta click and be together.”
Cassell believes the key to their success will mostly be determined by their star player’s concentration on the floor.
“That’s why I know I’m great at, just stay in the moment, getting guys to stay in the moment. Stay in the moment means if you’re playing five minutes, it’s going to be the best five minutes, the hardest five minutes you’ve played in your life. That’s the key right there,” he assured.
Source: Basketball Insider