For weeks now, Celtics fans have been wondering who will be the team’s next head coach. Would it be Chauncey Billups? Could the Celtics make history and put Becky Hammon at the helm? Would old friend Sam Cassell be the guy? Well, it’s none of those options. Adrian Wojnarowski literally just came out and reported that the Celtics are in agreement with Nets assistant coach Ime Udoka to be their next head coach.
The Boston Celtics are finalizing an agreement to hire Brooklyn Nets assistant Ime Udoka as the franchise's new coach, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 23, 2021
Now that the Celtics have their head coach, let’s dive into it.
Who is Ime Udoka?
Udoka was an NBA player who was a journeyman to say the least. He had stints with the Lakers, Knicks, Trail Blazers, Spurs, and Kings. He got into the coaching game as an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs, starting in 2012. Udoka spent seven seasons with the Spurs before going to Philadelphia for the 2019-2020 season. This past season, he was an assistant for the Nets under first year head coach Steve Nash. Safe to say, Udoka has plenty of general coaching experience in the NBA.
Udoka Learned Under Gregg Popovich
This is very important here. Udoka learned under the legendary Gregg Popovich for seven seasons. There’s something to say there. We all know how great of a coach Gregg Popovich is in the NBA. The championships with the Spurs speak for themselves. Udoka learning from Popovich will only help as the Celtics look to bounce back next year after a horrendously mediocre 2020-2021 season.
Udoka Coached Current Celtics Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart at the World Championships in 2019
Again, another important tidbit to keep in mind here. Tatum, Brown, and Smart spoke highly of Ime Udoka after spending time with him at the 2019 world championships. Those three probably love the fact that he’s young, has some edge to him, and is defensive minded. It seems like these guys, particularly Tatum and Brown, had some pull on who they wanted as their next head coach. That says a lot to hopefully having those guys in the fold for (hopefully) the rest of their careers.
The Celtics got their guy. Tatum, Brown, and Smart got who they wanted. Now it’s time to make more adjustments to the roster. You got rid of Kemba. The head coach is now in place. Now the next step is getting that roster more suited to fit around your two young stars. Welcome to Boston, Ime Udoka!
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–Al Nahigian (@BigAl2793)
Feat. image courtesy of nbcsports.com/