The Boston Celtics officially announced the hiring of Ime Udoka as the organization’s next head coach on Monday morning.
Reports first surfaced indicating Udoka would serve as Boston’s next head coach on June 23.
Udoka, 43, has served as an assistant coach in the NBA for the past nine seasons. He spent the first seven seasons of his professional coaching career with the San Antonio Spurs and under head coach Gregg Popovich. Udoka joined the Philadelphia 76ers sideline for the 2019-20 campaign under head coach Scott Brooks. Most recently, however, Udoka served as Steve Nash’s staff as an assistant for the Brooklyn Nets.
Udoka, a Portland native, also played seven seasons in the league. He played the 2003-04 season with the Los Angeles Lakers before stints with the New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings and Spurs. He ultimately hung it up after his second stint (third season) with the Spurs in 2010-11.
Udoka is the third major offseason move for the Celtics organization, fresh off an underwhelming 2020-21 campaign. First, Brad Stevens took over for Danny Ainge as the president of basketball operations last month. That was followed by Stevens’ first big move, a blockbuster trade that sent point guard Kemba Walker and a first-round pick to the Oklahoma City Thunder on June 18.
ESPN NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham and Los Angeles Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups had multiple interviews with the Celtics before Boston opted for Udoka.
Stevens, Udoka and the Celtics now set their sights on the 2021 NBA Draft on July 29 and NBA free agency, which will begin shortly after.