Shortly after several members of the Boston Celtics’ bolted to reunite with Ime Udoka and join the Rockets’ coaching staff down in Houston, the team began to restock on assistants. Sunday evening, The Athletic’s Shams Charania announced that Sixers‘ assistant coach Sam Cassell has agreed to join Celtics’ head coach Joe Mazzulla’s staff.
Cassell had been in Philadelphia with the Sixers for the past three seasons as the lead assistant under former coach Doc Rivers. He was perhaps most known for his strong mentoring relationship with young star Tyrese Maxey.
Well-regarded among both the team and the 76ers fans, losing Cassell, particularly to a division rival, is not a light blow. It was far from certain that Cassell would return to the Sixers under Nick Nurse, and now they have their confirmation.
Former Celtics’ champion Paul Pierce recently campaigned for Cassell to join Mazzulla’s coaching staff on a recent episode of “Ticket and The Truth” as he and fellow Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett discussed the future of the franchise and the need for consistency.
Pierce stated, “You can’t keep bringing in new voices. I’m going to add to what I got right now. I’ve got to add to it. It’s already good. I’ve got to add to it. It’s already there. So, I’m bringing Mazzulla back, but maybe I’m bringing in a veteran coach like Sam Cassell. Some influence on the bench. Respect. A champion. Been a coach. Understands what it takes.”
Knowing what Cassell brings to the coaching table, it’s safe to say they’ve added a high-quality assistant, while the next lead assistant for the Sixers will have some very big shoes to fill.