Ime Udoka quickly emerges as likely Nets next head coach
Apparently we know who Kevin Durant wants as the Nets’ head coach.
In less than an hour after it was announced Steve Nash and the Brooklyn Nets had parted ways, multiple reports have former Celtics’ coach — and former Nash assistant — Ime Udoka as a strong frontrunner to become the next Nets head coach.
Suspended Celtics coach Ime Udoka has emerged as the likely next Brooklyn Nets head coach and his hiring could be finalized as soon as the next 24-to-48 hours, sources tell ESPN. Celtics will let him leave for another job.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 1, 2022
Jacque Vaughn is the acting head coach tonight when the Nets face the Bulls, but Udoka appears to be the guy who will get the job full-time soon.
There is no way Udoka gets to the front of the line this fast without a push from the Nets’ star players. Brooklyn one of the most player-friendly organizations in the league (despite how this past summer went), it wants its stars to be happy.
Udoka, who comes out of the Spurs/Gregg Popovich coaching tree, was the man Brad Stevens hand-picked to replace him on the bench. It took half a season and a couple of personnel moves before it worked, but the Celtics ultimately bought into what Udoka preached and finished last season on a 26-6 run, then they carried that momentum into the playoffs and reached the NBA Finals.
Udoka was suspended by the Celtics for the entire 2022-23 NBA season after an investigation by an outside law firm found he had a “volume of violations” of team policy, Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck said, tied to an inappropriate relationship with a female in the organization. While both sides have kept the details of that incident from becoming public, it was serious enough that Boston sidelined the coach who took them to the NBA Finals a season ago.
What does this hire say to the women in the Nets organization? What does it say about the league’s values?
More bad PR may not faze the Nets at this point, not if it’s what makes their star players happy.