The Steve Nash coaching tree has its first offshoot.
Adrian Wojnarowski reports what has been speculated since Friday, that the Nets defensive coordinator, Ime Udoka, will be joining the Celtics as their new head coach. Woj said that Brad Stevens, Boston’s new president of basketball operations, had been impressed with Udoka’s experience across three respected organizations...
Stevens was believed to value Udoka's extensive experience as an assistant with Spurs, Sixers and Nets. Udoka had developed into a top head coaching candidate in this cycle, and seemed destined to get a job. He's getting one with the Celtics that includes two young All-Stars.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 23, 2021
A formal announcement is expected as soon as Wednesday afternoon, Woj reported. Udoka will replace Stevens who moved up to the front office after Danny Ainge retired.
Udoka was hired by Sean Marks a year ago. His main responsibility was the Nets defense which after a rough start improved throughout the regular season and into the playoffs. Marks knew Udoka from his days in San Antonio when the two were assistants on Gregg Popovich’s staff when the Spurs won the NBA championship in 2014.
Two other Nets assistants, Mike D’Antoni and Jacque Vaughn, are also candidates for head coaching jobs. D’Antoni is awaiting his second interview in Portland and Jacque Vaughn is awaiting his first in New Orleans. Unlike Udoka, both D’Antoni and Vaughn have head coaching experience.
Alex Schiffer of The Athletic speculated Wednesday that one possible replacement for Udoka or other departing assistants could be Nash’s college teammate, Lloyd Pierce who started the season as head coach of the Hawks before being replaced by Nate McMillan ON March 1. Nash spoke highly of Pierce at the time he was let go by Atlanta.
- Boston Celtics finalizing coaching deal with Brooklyn Nets’ Ime Udoka, sources say - Adrian Wojnarowski - ESPN