How much money does Celtics coach Ime Udoka make a year?
In his first year coaching Ime Udoka has led the Boston Celtics back to the NBA Finals after more than a decade. Does his salary reflect his accomplishment?
Ime Udoka’s impact in Boston has been immediate as the rookie head coach has taken the Celtics somewhere they haven’t been since the days of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
Stevens stepped aside for Udoka
Udoka took over in the offseason for former Celtics coach, and now General Manager Brad Stevens after working nine years as an assistant coach. The first year coach made headlines as a defensive master mind in his time serving under Greg Popovic, Brett Brown, and Steve Nash in San Antonio, Philadelphia and Brooklyn.
When Brad Stevens made the decision that he would be moving on to the front offices, he knew that he would have to find a coach that not only aligned with his vision for the team, but someone who would also blend with the team’s long standing base of players.
Udoka earned the respect of many of the Celtics players before joining forces at TD Garden when he was an assistant with the US National team in 2019. Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, and Jaylen Brown were all a part of that squad and were impressed working under Udoka. After a quick coaching search the Celtics came to an agreement with the former a quickly he began injecting his DNA into the side.
Udoka: a defensive genius
The terms of the contract signed last offseason have not been disclosed, but what ever the deal was the Celtics are surely feeling they got away with a steal after Udoka’s first year on the Boston sideline.
Defense has always been a priority for Udoka, and wasted no time converting the Celtics into the top rated defensive team in the league this season. It was a rough start to his rookie season as the Celtics were the 9 seed and had a losing record at the end of 2021. The nine year assistant turned the Celtics around once the New Year hit, and the Boston finished the season second in the East.
Now Udoka and the Celtics are just four wins away from lifting the Larry O’Brien trophy. It would be the first title in Boston since 2010, and Udoka would become the sixth coach to win an NBA Title in his rookie season.