And that feeling reportedly is mutual.
The Athletic’s Jay King on Thursday shed more light on the Celtics’ decision to hire Udoka, who will assume the role Brad Stevens vacated earlier this month upon being promoted to president of basketball operations after Danny Ainge retired.
Previous reports indicated Tatum and Brown offered positive reviews on Udoka during the hiring process, and King confirmed such while adding Udoka’s favorable outlook on coaching Boston’s two franchise cornerstones.
Here’s what King wrote:
The All-Stars already have relationships with Udoka after playing on the 2019 U.S. national team with him as an assistant coach. During that time, Tatum and Brown developed a healthy respect for Udoka, according to sources. When consulted during the coaching search, both players were said to have provided positive reviews. And the admiration is mutual. Udoka is eager to work with Tatum and Brown more closely moving forward, and was drawn to the job partly because of the opportunity to coach the two young talents, according to a source.
Stevens and the Celtics certainly have work to do from a roster building standpoint. Not only is Boston coming off a disappointing 2020-21 season. The C’s also have flaws that’ll be difficult to address based on their asset inventory and salary cap situation.
But having Tatum, 23, and Brown, 24, gives the Celtics a sturdy floor despite the team’s current deficiencies. It’s easy to see why Udoka, among others, would want to coach in Boston, even if it means facing an abundance of pressure.