Boston Celtics to Hire Brooklyn Nets Assistant Ime Udoka to Become the Team's 18th Head Coach in Franchise History

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The Boston Celtics are finalizing a deal with Brooklyn Nets assistant Ime Udoka to become the team’s new head coach, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The deal could be officially announced as soon mid-afternoon Wednesday.

Udoka will replace Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens, who stepped down from his role to replace Danny Ainge. The 43-year-old former assistant reportedly separated himself in the Celtics’ head coach search early on in the process.

Celtics players Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart gave Stevens their seal of approval on the hire. All three players played for Udoka on Team USA during the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Courtesy of Heavy.com

Udoka was a former assistant for San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich for seven seasons. He would leave San Antonio and join Brett Brown’s staff in Philadelphia two years ago and he most recently was with Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets.

The new Celtics’ head coach has a history of winning, Udoka won a ring with the Spurs back in 2014 under Popovich. He will become the 18th head coach in Celtics history and will take over a team with two young talented superstars in Tatum and Brown.

Both players were reportedly involved in the process and are seemingly excited by the hire. Last week Brown tweet about four of the seven remaining teams in the NBA Playoffs were being led by African American head coaches. Uboka will be the Celtics first African American head coach since Doc Rivers.

Uboka will help bring relatability to his locker room as he is a former NBA player. He went undrafted back in 2000 but has played overseas and in the G-League. He had stints with the Lakers (2004), Knicks (2006), Portland Trail Blazers and with the Spurs. Uboka averaged 5.2 points and 2.9 rebounds per game in his career, mostly as a backup.

The Uboka hiring is a step in the right direction for a team looking for a new identity under the Stevens front office. In addition, the Celtics have a new head coach who has a background with their key players and those players are excited to work with him.

Follow Chris on Twitter @chrishenrique


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Boston Sports Syndicate: Boston Celtics to Hire Brooklyn Nets Assistant Ime Udoka to Become the Team's 18th Head Coach in Franchise History
Boston Celtics to Hire Brooklyn Nets Assistant Ime Udoka to Become the Team's 18th Head Coach in Franchise History
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