SIXERS

Sixers assistant Udoka leaving for East contender: report

SIXERS

After a week of notable additions, the Sixers are losing assistant coach Ime Udoka to the Brooklyn Nets, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. 

Udoka is joining Nets head coach Steve Nash's staff in Brooklyn after a year with the Sixers, and after Udoka was a candidate for multiple head coaching jobs.

The news comes days after the Sixers added Sam Cassell and Dan Burke to Doc Rivers' coaching staff in Philadelphia, and hired Daryl Morey as the team's President of Basketball Operations.

Udoka, 43, played in 316 NBA games between 2003-04 and 2010-11, plus a few seasons overseas, before spending seven years as an assistant under Gregg Popovich with the Spurs and then heading to the Sixers in 2019.

Back when the Sixers were evaluating head coach candidates, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Noah Levick saw Udoka as a solid option:

"If you decided during the middle of a random game this season to focus on Udoka, you’d see someone conducting himself like a head coach. He was constantly thinking and making defensive tweaks — communicating between free throws that Joel Embiid and Al Horford should swap matchups; giving Matisse Thybulle a few words of advice at the end of a timeout; shouting out to trap as an opposing guard waited to initiate the final possession of a quarter. 

"Every coach has their own unique demeanor that works for them, of course, but the 43-year-old Udoka seems to have a nice mix of player-like intensity and poise on the sidelines."

 

The Nets are also adding former Sixers assistant coach and recent Sixers head coach candidate Mike D'Antoni to Nash's staff, per Wojnarowski.

Before the Clippers parted ways with Rivers, it seemed D'Antoni was the strongest leader in the Sixers' head coaching search.

But things in the NBA can change a lot in a month.