After the Boston Celtics were bounced in the first round of the playoffs, it was reported that Danny Ainge was stepping down. Brad Stevens, the head coach, was going to transition to the front office to replace him. As a result, the Celtics had to find a new head coach, and it looks like they have found their man.
Who Is Ime Udoka?
Ime Udoka is an Nigerian-born former NBA player. He appeared in 316 career games over the course of seven seasons. He played for the Lakers, Knicks, Trailblazers, Spurs, and Kings, averaging 5.2 points and 2.3 rebounds.
He started his coaching career in 2012 as an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs. He then was an assistant for the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2019-2020 season, before spending this past season as a coach on Steve Nash’s staff in Brooklyn.
How Did Udoka Emerge As The Favorite?
Ime Udoka, who has not been a head coach before, has emerged as the favorite over several other coaches with head coaching experience. According to Woj at ESPN, his work with Team USA has something to do with it:
What Does This Hire Mean For Boston?
Ime Udoka is taking over one of the most storied franchises in NBA history. He is the first foreign-born coach in Boston’s long, illustrious history. For Brad Stevens, Udoka is his first coaching hire as the head of the front office. Surly, how well Udoka performs in his new role will go a long way in determining how long Stevens will be in his position as well.
As Woj Tweeted, Udoka became the favorite for the job in part due to his work with Team USA. Celtics players spoke highly of him; however, those Boston players are not the only players with whom he worked. Have a head coach like Udoka who is popular with high-level talent throughout the NBA could be a great means of recruiting free agents to come play in Boston.
Boston finished just 36-36 this past season, but was able to secure the seventh seed in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. Kemba Walker has been traded, but the young duo of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum are still present. The young duo gives the new head coach a solid core around which to develop his game plan.