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Is Joe Mazzulla an acceptable replacement for Ime Udoka?

 My answer to my title question is, "NO". Let me explain.

Most naysayers to Assistant Celtics Coach Joe Mazzulla stepping into the role of head coach for the Boston Celtics would cite his two arrests within a year for alcohol-related violence. As a 20-year law enforcement veteran, I will take it one step further.


Mazzulla's first arrest occurred in April of 2009 and allegedly involved his grabbing of a woman by the neck. He was charged with domestic battery (per Bob Hertzel, Times, West Virginia):

(Joe) Mazzulla, from Johnston, R.I., was arrested and charged with domestic battery after an incident at de Lazy Lizard nightclub in Morgantown. Mazzulla allegedly grabbed a woman by the neck at the bar.

Research, and my experience, shows men who strangle women (or attempt to) can be a predictor of future domestic violence, including murder:  (per Wikipedia):

Strangulation is sometimes fatal. According to a large U.S. case control study, prior strangulation is a substantial and unique predictor of attempted and completed homicide of women by a male intimate partner.

A special issue of the Domestic Violence Report devoted to the crime of strangulation states: "Many domestic violence offenders and rapists do not strangle their partners to kill them; they strangle them to let them know they can kill them—any time they wish. Once victims know this truth, they live under the power and control of their abusers day in and day out.

This is why strangulation is often treated as a specific criminal offense. Let me return to my cop days for a moment. There is something up-close-and-personal - and specifically sinister - about a man grabbing an intimate female partner around the neck.

My hope is that Brad Stevens comes to his senses and makes coaching hires as smartly as he makes his player acquisitions. I rest my case!


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