According to the Skysports report ,Not only does Ime Udoka have experience playing with and coaching stars, but he’s also already familiar with the Celtics’ stars
The Boston Celtics and Brooklyn Nets assistant Ime Udoka are putting the finishing touches on a deal for Udoka to become Boston’s new head coach, according to reports.
Udoka, 43, is a longtime disciple of San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, having worked on Popovich’s Spurs staff as an assistant coach for seven years and serving as his assistant at the 2019 World Cup tournament.
Following his time in San Antonio, Udoka joined the Philadelphia 76ers for a year before spending this past season on the Nets staff.
The Portland, Oregon, native played a total of 316 games over seven seasons, averaging 5.2 points and 2.9 rebounds per game while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings and the Spurs, before retiring in 2012 and joining Popovich’s staff in San Antonio.
He was with the Spurs for seven seasons, including in 2013-14, when they won the NBA title. The ESPN report cited Celtics players’ positive reviews referencing Udoka’s work at the World Cup tournament.
Udoka takes over a Celtics team that reached the Eastern Conference finals in three of the previous four seasons before plummeting to the No. 7 seed this year and losing in the first round to Brooklyn. After the five-game loss to the Nets, basketball boss Danny Ainge retired and coach Brad Stevens gave up his spot on the bench to replace him
Once primed to compete for a spot in the finals, the Celtics seem to be losing ground in the East. Although Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have emerged as stars, the team has struggled to find additional pieces that can challenge the assembled stars in Milwaukee, Philadelphia and now Brooklyn and Atlanta.
Former Celtics coach Brad Stevens’ first major move since taking over the front office was to trade injured point guard Kemba Walker to Oklahoma City for big man Al Horford, giving up the team’s first-round draft pick to save salary cap space.
Who is Ime Udoka?
Ime Udoka is a Nigerian-American former professional basketball player who currently serves as the assistant coach for the NBA team San Antonio Spurs. He is also the fiancé of actress Nia Long, best known for her performances in the film ‘The Best Man’ and the television series ‘Third Watch’. He previously played for the Spurs for three seasons as a small forward.
He also played internationally for the Nigerian basketball team and helped them win bronze medals at the 2005 and 2011 FIBA Africa Championships in Algeria and Madagascar, respectively. As a player, he was honored with the ‘Jason Collier Sportsmanship Award’ in 2006. In his present role as an assistant coach, he helped the Spurs win the 2014 NBA Finals, defeating the Miami Heat by 4-1.
Thanks to his recent success, he is being touted as a strong candidate for the head coach’s position by sports media