Ime Udoka, who was Steve Nash’s defensive coach this season, has emerged as the leading candidate for the open Boston Celtics head coaching job, according to various reports.
Marc Stein of the Times reported in his weekly newsletter Tuesday that Udoka is the front-runner...
Ime Udoka, an assistant coach with the Nets, is believed to be at the top of Boston’s list to replace Stevens on the Celtics’ bench.
Similarly, Clevis Murray of The Athletic reports that there’s “growing confidence” that Udoka will get what could be the most coveted of the NBA’s seven head coaching vacancies.
As I already reported, Udoka has been at the top of the Celtics’ list for some time and is the favorite.— Clevis Murray (@ClevisMurray) June 22, 2021
There’s been growing confidence the past few days he’ll be their guy. https://t.co/4HhWBC3oxS
Brandon “Scoop” Robinson of Bally Sports has also reported on the possibility...
Brooklyn Nets assistant coach Ime Udoka is believed to be a frontrunner in the Boston Celtics' Head Coaching search at the current moment.— Brandon “Scoop B” Robinson (@ScoopB) June 22, 2021
On Friday, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Udoka was among the candidates getting second interviews with Boston’s president of basketball operations Brad Stevens, who was promoted from head coach earlier in the month, creating the vacancy. At the time, Woj noted that key Celtics players liked the idea.
Udoka has received strong reviews from Celtics players who played for the U.S. national team in the 2019 World Cup tournament, sources said. Udoka was an assistant under national coach Gregg Popovich. Udoka joined Steve Nash’s staff this year after one season with the Sixers and seven years under Popovich with the Spurs.
According to earlier reports, Udoka’s main competition was Chauncey Billups the Pistons great who played briefly for the Celtics. Billups is currently an assistant coach with the Clippers. Darvin Ham, the Bucks’ assistant, was also mentioned but by Tuesday, it appeared, Udoka had moved ahead of both.
Udoka is one of three assistants the Nets fear they could lose this summer. The others are Jacque Vaughn, who’s about to get his first interview with the Pelicans and Mike D’Antoni, who has already been interviewed by the Blazers once and will soon be interviewed a second time, per Woj.
Sources: Brooklyn Nets assistant Mike D’Antoni will get a second interview for the Portland job this week. Spurs assistant Becky Hammon met Monday for her second and Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups will also meet again with the Blazers this week. https://t.co/hvexakHlZ6— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 22, 2021
The Nets had eight assistants last season under Steve Nash, with Vaughn as the lead assistant, Udoka responsible for the defense and D’Antoni for the offense. D’Antoni, of course, has prior head coaching experience and has twice been named NBA Coach of the Year. Vaughn, too, has head coaching experience with the Orlando Magic. Udoka would be a rookie head coach if hired by Boston.
- Nets assistant coaches in high demand as offseason begins - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets assistants Mike D’Antoni, Jacque Vaughn receiving interest for head coach jobs - Scott Thompson - SNY