Ryan McDonough: Ime Udoka has been seen as a future NBA head coach for quite some time Those who have worked with Udoka say he’s: a great person, a tough competitor, good at developing strong relationships with players, a solid tactician, a worker, well respected leaguewide. Strong hire for the ☘️s
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Jamal Crawford: Congrats Ime! Love to see it..
The Boston Celtics are finalizing an agreement with Brooklyn Nets assistant Ime Udoka to make him the franchise’s new coach, sources told ESPN. A formal announcement is expected as soon as Wednesday.
Udoka, 43, separated himself quickly in the search process, sources said, and his candidacy was boosted with strong recommendations from key Celtics stars — including Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart — who played for Udoka on Team USA in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Jeff Goodman: Ime Udoka’s experience coaching Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart a couple years ago in Team USA was significant in his hiring. “Those guys all liked him and respected him,” one source told me. “He’s an easy guy to connect with.”
Jay King: Ime Udoka will indeed be the next coach of the Celtics, source confirms. The team liked his combination of NBA playing experience and coaching experience under Gregg Popovich, Brett Brown and Steve Nash.
Adrian Wojnarowski: The Boston Celtics are finalizing an agreement to hire Brooklyn Nets assistant Ime Udoka as the franchise’s new coach, sources tell ESPN.
Ime Udoka has received strong reviews from Celtics players who played for the U.S. National team in the 2019 World Cup tournament, sources said. Udoka was an assistant under national coach Gregg Popovich. Udoka joined Steve Nash’s staff this year after one season with the Sixers and seven years under Popovich with the Spurs.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Brooklyn’s Ime Udoka, Milwaukee’s Darvin Ham and Clippers’ Chauncey Billups are among head coaching candidates who Boston hopes to interview for a second time, sources tell ESPN. Celtics’ search continues to focus in the assistant ranks.
Mark Murphy: Per league source: Celtics have “three or four” strong coaching candidates, but Rick Carlisle isn’t considered one of them.
Stevens interviewed Celtics assistants Jay Larranaga, Scott Morrison and Jerome Allen and plans to broaden the search to include Milwaukee Bucks assistant coach Darvin Ham and Billups, a person with knowledge of the process told USA TODAY Sports. ESPN reported the Celtics wanted to interview Nets assistant Ime Udoka, Dallas assistant Jamahl Mosley and Bucks assistant Charles Lee. Coaching insiders indicate the Celtics will hire externally rather than promoting from within.
After spending eight years in that role, he recently said he believes the team could benefit from someone with fresh perspectives. “I don’t think anything was missing with Brad,” Maxwell said. “I just think now everybody thinks it’s time for another voice. A voice gets tired after a while, so a new direction, a new following. And I happen to like the fact that Brad is being the head of basketball operations because who would know better about the weaknesses and the strengths of this team than the guy who’s seen this team almost every day. So he knows better than anybody what this team needs.”
Maxwell believes the most important job for the next coach will be connecting with the Celtics’ younger players. He thinks the team would benefit from hiring a person of color with NBA playing experience to coach. “I think it’s important because if you look at the Celtics front office, if you look at most of those people who are there, who have been in the front office, ownership, everything else, those people aren’t of color,” said Maxwell, now a Celtics radio analyst. “So I think it would help the players if they found somebody who they could relate to maybe a little bit more. So that’s why I think it’s very important.”
Maxwell would also like to see Stevens add more diversity to the front office. “I would love to have more diversity in the front office,” Maxwell said. “I’ve said that a thousand times about the Celtics. I think that would definitely help make them a little more relatable maybe to potential free agents, having people of color in the front office.”
According to a league source, Celtics assistant coach Scott Morrison was the latest candidate to interview for Boston’s head coach position on Monday morning, joining a pair of coaches on Stevens staff that are receiving consideration.
Jerome Allen has also been interviewed and long-time assistant Jay Larranaga will be in the mix as well before the team starts the interview process with candidates from outside the organization.
Two new head coaching positions have opened in the past week in Portland and Orlando as those two teams parted ways respectively with Terry Stotts and Steve Clifford. Portland is a respected job around the league with an All-Star but the Celtics opening remains the most high sought after opening on the market according to league sources
With that in mind, there’s little belief, sources said, that the Celtics’ next coach will be an assistant elevated to the top position for the first time. That would theoretically cast a wide net, including respected retreads. The first two names linked to Boston’s opening, Jason Kidd and Lloyd Pierce, both led teams previously, and Warriors assistant Mike Brown—formerly a head coach of the Cavaliers and Lakers—is searching for another head coaching opportunity, sources told B/R.
If Boston were to consider a first-time head coach, that pool would likely include former players such as current Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups, who despite his inexperience, is widely considered a premier candidate on this summer’s NBA coaching market. Among league personnel, Billups has been considered for weeks as Portland’s leading candidate to replace Terry Stotts. The former Finals MVP is described as someone who commands each room he enters by his presence and demeanor, equal parts confidence and humility to listen—a similar recipe that landed Steve Nash on Brooklyn’s bench prior to this season. If not Billups, 76ers assistant Sam Cassell—another former Celtics point guard—is also considered to be one of the few external first-time head coaches who could receive significant interest for Boston’s opening. Cassell, too, is said to command the ears of superstars, such as Paul George and Ben Simmons, who he has mentored over the past few years as an assistant with the Clippers and 76ers.
Further, there was a significant outcry among league personnel pointing to Boston’s power shift as just another top job vacancy—lead executive or head coach—to open and close without any interview process at all, let alone one that included conversations with multiple Black personnel. With that, there is a sense around the league that hiring a head coaching candidate who is Black will be a top priority for this position—the circumstances with Danny Ainge saying he’d never heard of racism from Celtics crowds notwithstanding.
Metta World Peace: I would totally head coach for the @Celtics if their was an opportunity. But whoever gets the job , much success to you.
There are already several candidates for the Celtics head coaching vacancy. Another coach that will get consideration for the job? Celtics assistant coach Jerome Allen.
Stevens and the Celtics hired Allen in 2015, viewing him as someone who could help push the organization forward. Allen has worked closely with many of the Celtics top players over the years, including Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier, Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. He was responsible for coordinating how the Celtics would attack their opponents’ defensive schemes. The Undefeated earlier reported that Allen was expected to get consideration for the job. A league source confirmed that, saying Allen is among a group of internal candidates who will speak with Stevens.
Who will Stevens hire? He will interview internal candidates this week, sources told SI. There are strong options: Jay Larranaga has interviewed for head coaching jobs with other organizations, while Jerome Allen and Scott Morrison have head coaching experience. Stevens will also look outside the organization, with Nets assistant Ime Udoka expected to get a long look.
Keith Smith: Next Celtics coach odds per @betonline_ag: Jay Larranaga 3/1, Jason Kidd 5/1, Chauncey Billups 6/1, Lloyd Pierce 6/1, Sam Cassell 7/1, Kenny Atkinson 10/1, Ime Udoka 10/1, Jarron Collins 12/1, Alvin Gentry 12/1, Nate McMillan 12/1, Mike D’Antoni 14/1, Becky Hammon 14/1, Jeff Van Gundy 14/1
Chris Grenham: Brad Stevens on the coaching search on @NBCSBoston: “There are great candidates all over the place and I’m looking forward to getting into the process of narrowing that down.”
Chris Grenham: Woj on @espn: “This is going to be a coveted job. … Watch as these playoffs go on. There could be more candidates available to Boston than are available now. … This I think is a job that any # of candidates, including those employed elsewhere, would love to get involved in.” pic.twitter.com/otWQszGuOj
Chris Grenham: Wyc Grousbeck: “We’re getting started today on (the coaching) search.”
Tom Westerholm: Brad Stevens is asked about potentially coaching and being in the front office. Wyc Grousbeck interjects: “At the Celtics, that’s two separate jobs.”
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October 22, 2021 | 4:21 pm EDT Update
Miami Heat guard Victor Oladipo is not traveling with the team to Indianapolis, a league source told Fieldhouse Files. The IU grad and former Pacer remains sidelined after having surgery to repair his right quadricep tendon, the same one that ruptured when he was with Indiana on Jan. 23, 2019 against the Raptors.
Malika Andrews: A snippet of our interview with Damian Lillard on NBA Today: “I just wanted it to be clear. It’s not one of those situations where I’m waiting for some adversity to hit… The last thing I’m thinking about is waiting for it to get tough and then bailing out on (Chauncey Billups).”
Sean Highkin: Damian Lillard on being included in the NBA’s Top 75 list: “I was surprised. … It’s a great honor. Being included among the best of the best across the whole history of the NBA. … I appreciate it, but I’ve got a lot I still need to accomplish.”
Keith Pompey: There’s scheduled to be an enhanced police/security presence at the Wells Fargo Center tonight for what was expected to Ben Simmons’ first home game, a league source said. The source expects the enhanced presence to remain even though Simmons won’t play.