Trail Blazers

CJ McCollum is 'excited' former Blazer Ime Udoka was hired as the Celtics coach

Trail Blazers

CJ McCollum is familiar with a good amount of people across the NBA.

One of them includes newly named Boston Celtics head coach, Ime Udoka.

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On the latest episode of McCollum’s Pull Up podcast, he talked about many topics, including Udoka being hired by the Celtics as the man to replace Brad Stevens.

“It was only a matter of time before he got this job in this position,” McCollum said.

Udoka paid his dues. After a 12-year pro career which included stints overseas and in the NBA, Udoka spent the following nine seasons as an assistant. First in San Antonio for seven seasons with Gregg Popovich, and then a season in Philadelphia then Brooklyn.

McCollum’s right, his time was coming. It was just a matter of time for the Portland native and former Blazer to get a head coaching gig. 

“I’m excited for Ime to get an opportunity to coach,” he said.

The Celtics job was one of the most coveted in the league. Having appeared in three of the last five Eastern Conference Finals with a nucleus of two young All-Stars in Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum followed by Marcus Smart and Al Horford, what’s not to like?

Expectations will be high for the Celtics who dealt with a litany of health and safety protocol issues and injuries. 

 

An idea of how much health was a problem for the Celtics: their most played five-man lineup played 11 games together and included Daniel Theis, who was traded midway through the season.

Coming off a first-round loss to the Nets in five games as the No. 7 seed, Udoka will immediately have expectations to lead the team deep into the playoffs.

Plus, it’s only fitting the 18th head coach in franchise history leads their pursuit for banner 18.

“I think he’s a great fit for the team,” McCollum said. “I think he's learned over the course of his career and it’s great for him to get an opportunity.”