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|Nigerian-American Ime Sunday Udoka Is New Coach Of The Boston Celtics by ZooOga: 11:12pm On Jun 23|
Nigerian-American Ime Sunday Udoka is the New Coach of the Boston Celtics
Celtics to name Nets assistant Ime Udoka as new coach
By Brian Lewis June 23, 2021
It’s hard to keep good help. And Brooklyn lost a top assistant with Ime Udoka finalizing a deal to take over as head coach of the Boston Celtics.
After just a single season with the Nets – who could lose two other assistants up for vacant head coaching spots – Udoka will move on in a hire first reported by ESPN and confirmed by The Post. He’ll replace Brad Stevens, who moved up to president of basketball operations earlier this month in replacing Danny Ainge.
The 43-year-old Udoka – who was long overdue for a head coaching position – was essentially Steve Nash’s defensive coordinator. He’ll bring a non-nonsense, tough-love approach to the Celtics, after coaching that way in Brooklyn and also getting to know several of Boston’s stars at the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
“Ime focuses a lot about defense, because obviously when he played that’s basically what he was, a defender, and he liked to be physical,” Nets guard Mike James said of Udoka. “Just for me personally, he’s always reminded me to do the little things; sprint back, load up box out, be physical.
“He’s not like a coach that’ll hold back how he feels. He’s going to tell you how he feels, how you’re playing, what you should be doing better. For somebody like me, obviously that might not be the same what everybody else is doing. But I like coaches to be honest and tell me what they want me to do and it works out.”
Like much of the Nets organization – from GM Sean Marks on down – Udoka was part of the Spurs’ tree. After seven seasons in the NBA with the Knicks, Lakers, Blazers, Kings and Spurs, he joined Gregg Popovich’s staff as an assistant in 2012, winning a title in 2014.
Udoka had been a candidate for the head coaching job in Brooklyn in 2016, before Marks – with whom he’d worked in San Antonio – went with Kenny Atkinson. He ended up getting hired as a lead assistant in Philadelphia in 2019; but when Brett Brown got fired after last season, he finally landed with the Nets.
Boston also had multiple interviews with Bucks assistant Darvin Ham and Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups. But after Udoka had made an impression on Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart while coaching under Popovich at Team USA in 2019, ESPN reported their backing separated Udoka from the pack.
And he may not be the only assistant the Nets lose in the coming weeks.
|Re: Nigerian-American Ime Sunday Udoka Is New Coach Of The Boston Celtics by paulolee(m): 11:21pm On Jun 23|
|Re: Nigerian-American Ime Sunday Udoka Is New Coach Of The Boston Celtics by slowice(m): 11:45pm On Jun 23|
As you all know..... IGBO AMAKA
|Re: Nigerian-American Ime Sunday Udoka Is New Coach Of The Boston Celtics by IfGodbeforus(m): 12:30am On Jun 24|
Congrats. If he was in Nigeria, not minding his qualifications, Pmb nepotic appointment would have robbed him.
|Re: Nigerian-American Ime Sunday Udoka Is New Coach Of The Boston Celtics by wearsandtrends1: 12:58am On Jun 24|
Mostly likely has never heard the word Biafra
|Re: Nigerian-American Ime Sunday Udoka Is New Coach Of The Boston Celtics by Karlovych: 2:44am On Jun 24|
slowice:He's from Akwa-Ibom
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