Ime Udoka, The Official 18th Head Coach Of The Boston Celtics :
As the former head coach of the Boston Celtics Brad Stevens took the position to be the next president of basketball operations for the team, the search for a new coach was on. After interviewing a handful of candidates for the job, the Celtics finally landed one, Ime Udoka.
Udoka was the 39th overall pick in the 2002 NBA Development League Draft. He bounced around a lot, some years he played for NBA teams, and some years played overseas. Ime averaged 5.2 PPG, 2.9 RBG, and 1 APG in the 316 games he played in his professional career. Udoka joined Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs in 2012 as an assistant coach. And 2 years later, in 2014, the Spurs won the finals (with Udoka on the staff). Flash-pass a few years, and he has joined the staff of the Philadelphia 76ers for the 2019-2020 campaign. With just 1 season with the 76ers, Udoka joined the Brooklyn Nets at the beginning of the 2020-2021 season as an assistant coach.
Why Udoka Is The Perfect Fit For Boston?
With almost a decade in coaching, Udoka brings the experience of leadership and unique techniques to Boston. As being a part of a championship Spurs team, this experience as well can help bring a young Celtic team to the finals. When looking for a new coach to lead a team, their All-Star players must have a say in the decision. And in Boston’s case, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and even Marcus Smart were a part of this decision. Udoka was an assistant for Team USA at the 2019 World Championships and coincidentally not, all three Tatum, Brown, and Smart were a part of that team. This is when the 3 stars built a connection with Udoka.
A coach who has worked with Udoka described him and said “He listens to players and adjusts. It’s not his way or the highway. He has an edge, but he’s not a hard-ass. He’ll stand up to guys. He’s defensive-minded. He values toughness.” This is a great thing to hear if you are a Celtics fan. I have nothing but respect for Brad Stevens, but Udoka will bring the toughness that Stevens didn’t. Though Udoka never had experience as a head coach, neither did some great NBA coaches. When Popovich entered the NBA as a coach, he started off as an assistant to Larry Brown in 1987-88. Popovich has won 5 NBA championships and has been named NBA Coach Of The Year 3 times. Even Brad Stevens never spent a single moment in the NBA and still led the Celtics to 3 Eastern Conference Finals appearances. Udoka will bring a different energy to Boston, something we have not yet seen. And with his prior connection with some of the Celtics stars, it’ll be very interesting to see how that factors into the success of the Boston Celtics next season.
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