Nothing official yet, but Adrian Wojnarowski reported on ESPN’s Get Up Wednesday that Brooklyn could hire suspended Celtics head coach by as early as Wednesday.
.@wojespn weighs in on the Brooklyn Nets finalizing a deal to hire suspended Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka:— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) November 2, 2022
"This is probably the last-ditch effort to make this [Nets team] work." pic.twitter.com/Q4OIsqSrH3
“A formal agreement could be reached as soon as today and Ime Udoka could be on the bench by as soon as this road trip on the weekend,” said Woj talking with Mike Greenberg.
“Sean Marks I think he sees in Udoka someone who commands the respect of that locker room, improves them defensively. He was on Steve Nash’s staff before he went to Boston.”
Udoka is familiar with all of the Nets new “Big Three” — Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving as an assistant with the Nets, Ben Simmons while he was an assistant with the 76ers.
Udoka took the Celtics to the NBA Finals this season after starting the season 25-25, relying on a stingy defense. Boston swept the Nets in the first round.
Then in a turn of events as shocking as the Celtics late season run, the franchise suspended him for this season for a “volume of violations” of team policy including a consensual affair with a team official.
Marks said Tuesday that he did not at that time have an agreement to hire Udoka but hoped to have a new head coach “soon.”
The Nets don’t have their next game till Friday on the road in Washington vs the Wizards.
Prior to his one season with Boston, Udoka had been as assistant on the Spurs, 76ers as well as the Nets.
At least one activist, Brenda Tracy, spoke out about the potential hire.
“The message to female employees and society in general is winning matters the most,” Tracy told The Post in an email on Wednesday. “And the pursuit of winning will be prioritized over the safety and well being of employees, specifically female employees.”
Kelsey Russo of The Athletic voiced similar points Wednesday.
And what about the Nets? Did they even think about the women who work in their organization and how they would be affected by such a hire? Hiring Udoka is a slap in the face to all of those women and women everywhere.
Meanwhile in Boston, Marcus Smart was surprised and frustrated over the news, according to media reports, saying that he had wanted Udoka to return next season after his suspension was up.
“We have no control over that. It definitely sucks. I guess it was deemed that whatever happened was enough for him not to be the coach here, but I guess not enough for him [not] to be a coach anywhere else, obviously,” said the Defensive Player of the Year last season.
“[Ime’s] name got slandered and slaughtered and it was ‘He’ll probably never coach again.’ And a couple months later he’s possibly going to be the coach of one of our biggest rivals. It’s tough. It makes no sense.”
- Ime Udoka roundtable: Why would Nets hire the suspended Celtics coach? - The Athletic
- If Nets hire Ime Udoka, it would send another clear message to women - Kelsey Russo - The Athletic
- Activist: Ime Udoka hire would send bad message to women in Nets organization - Ethan Sears - New York Post
- Celtics’ Marcus Smart reacts to Ime Udoka’s possible move to the Nets: ‘It makes no sense’ - Josh Matthews - USA Today