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Monday, May 29, 2023

Joe Mazzulla’s strong message after meeting cancer patients

The season will be on the line for the Boston Celtics on Thursday night as they look to starve off elimination in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat. On a personal level, one could argue that his job as the team’s head coach will also be in the balance for Celtics first-year shot-caller Joe Mazzulla.

Amid all the pressure he’s facing at the moment, Mazzulla was asked before the game about how he has been handling it all. It was at this point that the 34-year-old described how a recent eye-opening encounter with young cancer patients put things into perspective for him:

“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,” Mazzulla said. “And so having an understanding about what life is really about and watching a girl die and smiling, enjoying her life — that’s what it’s really all about.

“… The other thing is 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 just an opportunity to just sit right where I’m at and just be faithful. That’s what it’s about.”

That’s heavy. I’m pretty sure that that was not the answer the reporter was expecting from the Celtics coach, but at the same time, this is probably the response we all needed. It’s so easy to get caught up in the spirit of competition that is brought about by the NBA Playoffs — and for good reason — that sometimes, we tend to forget about the more important things in life.

Joe Mazzulla does all of us a service here with the Celtics shot-caller sending a powerful reminder about savoring each and every moment of all of our lives.

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