Boston Celtics

Mazzulla's take on revolving doors sums up his unique mindset

"How can I win every single situation or environment?"

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Boston Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla is one of a kind.

The 19th head coach in franchise history, Mazzulla has made a name for himself since taking over at the start of the 2022-23 campaign. He led the C's to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals in his first season, then helped Boston head into the 2024 playoffs with the NBA's best record (64-18).

Meanwhile, Mazzulla has become one of the most fascinating personalities in the sport. The 35-year-old is fiercely competitive, and his unique mindset extends well beyond basketball.

Appearing on Barstool Sports' "Pardon My Take" podcast, Mazzulla shared some of the thoughts that run through his mind on any given day.

"How can I win every single situation or environment? Like, how can I win the environment no matter where I am at any particular time?" Mazzulla said. "What are the threats, the strengths, and the opportunities?

"And can you look at every single situation as a life-or-death situation from the standpoint of like, this person's a threat, this situation's --- like, I won't walk through revolving doors because if one of them gets stuck then you're just a sitting duck."

Well, he isn't wrong. That'll get you thinking the next time you see a revolving door.

That's not all. Asked how his mind works when getting his morning coffee at Dunkin', Mazzulla made it clear he's prepared for any situation.

"Just figure out where the exits are. Look at the line on the way in, study all the people," he answered. "Don't have your back to the door. At a restaurant, I never sit with my back to the door. You always gotta sit to where you can have a vantage point of everything that's going on around you."

Mazzulla added that much to the chagrin of his family, he's unable to turn these thoughts off. They even impact his experience watching TV with his kids.

"What can I take from this to teach my kid a lesson? Like, you can't just watch this just to watch it," he said. "There's got to be something here that you gotta learn from it."

While Mazzulla's mindset might help the Celtics and may be useful in some off-the-court situations, he acknowledges it isn't always the best approach.

"It's not all positive. I'm not saying I'm a good person for it," he said. "There are a ton of negative ramifications to that type of mindset. Like, your wife or kids come to you with a very empathetic situation and it's just like, 'Yeah, you're just telling yourself that.'"

We can expect to see Mazzulla's competitive spirit on full display when the Celtics' playoff run begins. Game 1 of their first-round series is set for Sunday at 1 p.m. ET against either the Miami Heat or Chicago Bulls. You can check out the full first-round schedule here.

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