The Nets are back in Brooklyn and still don’t have a head coach. Jacque Vaughn is the interim and Ime Udoka the heir apparent ... we think.
Marc Stein reported two days ago that there were “strong voices” urging Joe Tsai to “back off” on hiring Udoka who of course is under a year-long suspension for sexual improprieties, part of a “volume of violations” of the Celtics code of conduct as owner Wyc Grousbeck put it back in September when a law firm presented its report on Udoka’s issues.
In the days after Steve Nash was let go, there were reports primarily from Adrian Wojnarowski and Shams Charania that Udoka’s hiring was imminent, “on the brink” as Woj put when he last discussed the issue last Friday. That didn’t happen and Stein’s reporting makes it seem that it might not, although there’ve been no reports of Nets interest in any candidate other than maybe Vaughn.
But the delay and Stein’s reporting makes one wonder what’s going on behind the scenes. Meanwhile, both Newsday and the Post have written about the issues still outstanding with Udoka.
Barbara Barker, in a column for Newsday, writes that women’s groups have already criticized the Nets for even thinking about hiring Udoka:
In theory, it’s hard to believe that the Nets would seriously consider hiring Udoka.
In reality, their season veered into the surreal a while ago. It took the Nets eight days and two cringe-worthy news conferences to do the right thing and suspend Kyrie Irving for linking to an antisemitic movie on his social media accounts. Is it really possible they feel they can fix one public relations catastrophe with another? Can it be possible that it wasn’t enough to alienate their Jewish fans, and now the Nets are moving on to women?
Not only is it not right, it’s not good business.
Mark W. Sanchez, writing for the Post, points out how little we know about what happened in Boston.
So, what do we know? Udoka was suspended for violating Celtics rules; he was involved with a female staffer in a relationship that may or may not have been consensual; he made “unwanted” or “crude” comments toward her, though the circumstances and the content of those comments are under wraps...
If the Nets believe Udoka is the answer to their on-court problems, they need to have a full accounting of what led the Celtics to take Udoka off the court. We do not know what happened, but he cannot become the Nets’ head coach without publicly answering every question to explain why he is no longer the Celtics’ head coach.
And just like the Irving situation, the commissioner’s office seems to be involved with more than one source telling NetsDaily that Adam Silver is among those “strong voices” talking to Tsai.
How soon might things be resolved? No one is saying. You’ll have to stay tuned.
- Nets’ reported plan to hire Ime Udoka as coach feels like a punch in the gut to women - Barbara Barker - Newsday
- NBA fans have so many questions about Ime Udoka. The Nets need him to answer them - Mark W. Sanchez - New York Post