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Joe Mazzulla reflects on his relationship with Jerry West and an impactful phone call he got from the NBA legend

BOSTON -- The NBA lost a legend on Wednesday when Jerry West died at the age of 86. Known by generations as "The Logo," West touched the lives of countless young basketball players, including Celtics head coach Joe Mazzulla.

Like West, Mazzula played his college ball at West Virginia. Ahead of Game 3 of the NBA Finals in Dallas, Mazzulla sent his prayers to West's family, and recalled a few special moments that he had with the NBA legend.

West was just as fiery as the Celtics coach, which led to an interesting phone call between the two while Mazzulla was going through some struggles with the Mountaineers.

"My junior year in college, wasn't living up to anyone's standards. I got a call. It's Jerry. A lot of expletives, but he basically told me I was an F-up and had the opportunity to be great at something," Mazzulla recalled. "Just let me have it for like 10, 15 minutes. I thought it was one of the most impactful phone calls that I had really in my life."

That wasn't the only time that West showed Mazzulla some tough love. And the next time he chewed him out, it wasn't over the phone.

"Stayed at his house once and overslept for UCLA open gym. Went down for breakfast and got another ass chewing because I wasn't being competitive enough," said Mazzulla.

But Mazzulla said that was how West showed that he loved and cared about you, and he certainly felt that in his interactions with the Lakers legend.

"The thing I remember about him is he had a tough way of showing that he loved you, but he was super, super competitive and he really, really cared about you. He showed it in a way that kind of spoke to my language," said Mazzulla. "He'll be missed and praying for the family."

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