ESPN reports that Royal Ivey, a Nets assistant coach the last three seasons, is leaving Brooklyn for Houston and a similar role with the Rockets under new head coach Ime Udoka with whom he worked two years ago.
Nets assistant coach Royal Ivey will be joining Ime Udoka’s staff with the Rockets, sources told ESPN. Ivey, who played college ball at Texas, has strong relationships with players across the league.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) May 18, 2023
Udoka who led the Celtics to the NBA Finals last year was suspended this past season for having an inappropriate relationship with a staffer. He was hired by Houston earlier this month.
Ivey has been involved in player development with the Nets, in particular winning praise from Bruce Brown after he went from a journeyman’s role with Detroit to a rotation player in Brooklyn. Ivey was hired by Steve Nash and is a good friend of Kevin Durant’s. (Ivey is also the head coach of the South Sudan national team.)
With the Nets not renewing the contracts of Igor Kokoskov, Tiago Splitter and Brian Keefe last month, the team is now down four assistants. In addition, the Nets never filled the assistant position Jacque Vaughn left last November when he moved up to replace Nash.
While the Nets have made no announcement regarding replacements, Mike Scotto of Hoopshype has written in the last several days that they will be hiring Jay Hernandez of the Hornets and are interested in two other coaches who formerly worked in Long Island with their G League team. According to Scotto, they are Will Weaver who was an assistant to Kenny Atkinson and Long Island Nets head coach and is now head coach of Paris Basket, and Ronnie Burrell, who was Long Island’s coach last season. Weaver, at least, has other suitors reportedly including the Rockets.
Since the end of the 2021-22 season, the Nets have had an almost complete turnover in the coaching staff. Other than Vaughn, the only other member of the staff from then who’s still working in Brooklyn is Ryan Forehan-Kelly.