Guest blog by Rob & Roxanne Maroney, authors of “Hope After Hurt”
In my opinion, this was one of the greatest moments in press conference history. NBA coach Joe Mazzulla of the Boston Celtics was answering questions during a press conference following their victory against the Miami Heat on November 30th.
One reporter asked him about the presence of Prince William and Kate Middleton of Wales who were in attendance at the game. The reported asked, “Did you get a chance to meet with the royal family, and what was it like having them at the game?”Mazzulla answered, “You mean Jesus, Mary and Joseph?” The reporter then laughed and responds, “No, the prince and princess of Wales.” Mazzulla then says, “I’m only familiar with one royal family. I don’t know too much about that other one.”
This was a moment of perspective. With all the media buzz surrounding the royal family (of England) Joe Mazzulla brought the focus back to the real royal family. The incarnation, the virgin birth, the coming of the Son of God as Savior to the world … this was his focus.
To those who know Joe Mazzulla, they say he is a devout man of faith. He is a devoted husband and father of two children. But when he returned to New England in 2019, a part of his life was in crisis. His father, a guiding force in his life, was fighting a losing battle against brain cancer. The family’s friends, and really the whole town, rallied in support of Joe’s dad and his cancer battle. But in April of 2020, with the world in a pandemic lockdown, Dan Mazzulla died at just 61 years of age.
When Joe was asked what he thought his father would think of his new role as a head coach, he said “He’d be proud.” He went on to say, “Ever since he passed I think the most important thing is how can I continue the legacy of what he started and what he taught our family. Work ethic, treating people the right way. That all goes a long way. My Dad always preached mindset and how we handle situations, whether it’s good or bad,” Mazzulla said. “You don’t realize until someone’s gone what they’re teaching you. His ability to teach us how to have the right frame of mind regardless of the circumstances around you is perfect for what I’m facing right now. That’s going to help me lead.”
Joe Mazzulla’s dad focused on character, and perspective. While the world is shouting for us to pay attention to another family, where is your attention focused? Will it be on Charles and Camilla, William and Kate, Harry and Megan? Or will you see this as a time to focus on the most significant family in all of recorded human history?
Mazzulla’s response to the reporter during the press conference brought perspective, and silenced the room. However, over 2,000 years ago there was another night with much less fanfare. There was no media attention, but the silence was split wide open. It was the beginning of something that would change the world.
Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright.
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace