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NBA

Ime Udoka, replacement for Steve Nash on Nets? What we know about the possible new coach

The Brooklyn Nets have fired head coach Steve Nash after a 2-5 start to the 2022 NBA season, and are eyeing Boston Celtics’ Ime Udoka to replace him.

Update:
The Brooklyn Nets have fired head coach Steve Nash after a 2-5 start to the 2022 NBA season, and are eyeing Boston Celtics’ Ime Udoka to replace him.
Scott TaetschGetty Images

The Brooklyn Nets have relieved head coach Steve Nash of his duties after a rough 2-5 start to the season, and after a very public outburst that caused him to be ejected from a game. Assistant Jacque Vaughn will serve as interim head coach until they find a replacement.

One name that has been floated as the person who will take Nash’s place is Ime Udoka, suspended head coach of the Boston Celtics and former Nets assistant coach.

Udoka, former Brooklyn Nets assistant coach

He was with Brooklyn in the 2020-21 season until the Celtics signed him on last year. It was a glorious first season for Udoka, who led Boston to their first NBA Final in 12 years.

He became the fifth coach in the last 25 years to make it to the finals in his rookie year as head coach.

However, the organization suspended him for the whole 2022-23 season in September for violating team policies, including using crude language while talking to a female subordinate and later on engaging in an inappropriate relationship with her.

Celtics to allow Udoka to leave

Boston appointed assistant Joe Mazzulla as interim head coach, with the possibility of reinstating Udoka sometime in the future. However, the franchise will allow him to seek other employment, and will not seek compensation for his departure.

By all indications, the 45-year-old is the top contender to lead the Nets.

Udoka’s basketball track record

Udoka began his pro basketball career with the Charleston Lowgators in the NBA G-League.

He was signed and then waived first by the Los Angeles Lakers, and then the New York Knicks. Udoka had stints with the Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, and the Sacramento Kings.

Udoka began his coaching career in 2012 as assistant to Gregg Popovich of the Spurs. He won his first championship two years later, when the Spurs extinguished the Miami Heat in the 2014 NBA Finals.

He stayed with San Antonio util 2019, when he moved to the Philadelphia 76ers, with whom he stayed for a season until his time with the Nets that began in 2020.

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