Malcom Brogdon’s experience with Indiana’s coaching turnover may help Celtics

Malcolm Brogdon dealt with a similar, but less scandalous, coaching situation in Indiana.

First, Brad Stevens moved to a front office position. Then Ime Udoka got suspended for a year due to multiple team violations. Now Joe Mazzulla, who is leading the Celtics on an interim basis, is the franchise’s third head coach in three years.

As the team looks to move forward in preparation for the rapidly approaching 2022-23 season, it might benefit from the experience of newly acquired guard Malcolm Brogdon.

Brogdon, who was with the Indiana Pacers for three years, had a different head coach each season. He knows what it’s like to start over with a new person in charge the way the Celtics are now.


“I was the leader in Indiana,” Brogdon said, according to The Athletic. “I was the guy that guys relied on to be the vocal leader, but also lead by example and lead on the court as well. When there was turnover, I had to show that I wasn’t really impacted on the court, especially. I was able to continue to play at a high level and continue to lead my team.”

The difference is that the two Indiana coaches (Nate McMillan and Nate Bjorkgren) that got fired while Brogdon was there had performance issues.

Udoka wasn’t suspended over the Celtics’ on-court performance. He took Boston to the NBA Finals last year during his first season. His suspension involves a more scandalous situation that hasn’t been fully explained to the players, according to multiple players who spoke at Celtics Media Day on Monday.

Still, there are lessons that can be taken from Brogdon’s experience. One of them is for the Celtics to focus on themselves, rather than the circumstances around Udoka’s suspension.

“Honestly, you’re not really taught this, but focus on yourself,” Brogdon said. “Focus on being ready and your preparation every day. That’s how I’ve gotten through all the coaches I’ve had and learning all the new techniques. Keep an open mind, but make sure you’re mentally prepared and physically prepared so your skills are sharp. It all starts with the work between the lines.”


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