Who is Ime Udoka?Four things about the Celtics’ next head coach

The Celtics seem to have found their next head coach.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Wednesday that Boston is finalizing a deal with Nets assistant coach Ime Udoka to become the team’s new head coach.

This offseason opened this position when Danny Ainge resigned as Boston’s general manager and former head coach. Brad Stevens was transferred to Head of Basketball Operations.

more: The Pistons lock the Cade Cunningham pick, more in the 2021 NBA mock draft

But how did the Celtics make Udoka the 18th head coach in team history? Here is all the information about how Udoka was selected during his basketball career.

Past coaching experience

Udoka has been an assistant coach in the league for nearly ten years, most of which was under his former head coach Gregg Popovich in San Antonio.

After playing for seven seasons in the NBA and playing for Spain’s UCAM Murcia CB in 2012, Udoka returned to the Spurs as an assistant coach in 2012. In 2014, when they defeated the Heat to win the NBA championship, he worked for the team.

Udoka joined the 76ers staff in the 2019-20 season and then landed on the Nets at the beginning of the 2020-21 season.

According to Wojnarowski, Stevens values ​​Udoka’s coaching experience as an assistant coach, and he is likely to get the head coach position this season.

Veteran players

During his playing days, Udoka stopped many times.

Udoka is a 6-foot-6 forward who has played for one season in San Francisco and Portland State University and one season in the Basque National Basketball team’s Club Sportivo Independiente. He was finally selected with the 39th overall pick in the 2002 NBA Development League Draft, spent a season in North Charleston, and briefly played for the Lakers in 2004, when he played four games and averaged two points per game.

For the next two seasons, 2004 and 2005, he spent in Europe, first playing for Gran Canaria in Spain and finally joining JA Vichy in France. He participated in the NBDL draft again in 2005 and was ranked third by the Fort Worth Flyers. He entered the NBA again with the Knicks in 2006, where he averaged 2.8 points per game. He had his best season in the 2006-07 season, when he started 75 games for the Trail Blazers, averaging 8.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. He played the next four games in San Antonio, where he averaged 4.5 points, 2.7 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 160 games, with only three starts. Before ending his career, he made the last stop in Spain with UCAM Murcia CB in 2012.

Compete on the world stage

Udoka’s father was born in Nigeria’s Ibibio descent, which means Udoka is eligible to represent Nigeria in international competitions.

He represented the Nigerian national team in the 2005 FIBA ​​Africa Championship and helped the team win the bronze medal. In the final game, Udoka scored 24 points to help Nigeria beat Algeria 88-76. He continued to play for the team and helped Nigeria stand out from the group stage at the 2006 FIBA ​​World Championships.

Udoka then led the Nigerian national team to win the bronze medal again in the 2011 AfroBasket, defeating Côte d’Ivoire 77-67.

Even as a coach, Udoka found himself back in competition with international competitions. He is also the assistant coach of the Popovich staff at the 2019 World Cup. His lineup includes Celtics Jaylen Brown, Jason Tatum and Marcus Smart.

Player recognition

Udoka found himself to be the next Celtics candidate, largely because of the relationship he established with the players.

According to Wojnarowski, after cooperating with the US team, several players expressed support for hiring Udoka.

This is nothing new for Udoka. According to a report by Sports IllustratedIn Aldridge’s first year in the NBA, after the two played together at Polland, he was a key factor in LaMarcus Aldridge’s landing on the Spurs.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *