The Boston Celtics reportedly are working out a deal to sign Brooklyn Nets assistant Ime Udoka to be the team’s next head coach.
There’s a lot to like about this hire.
He’s part of Gregg Popovich’s coaching tree, has the respect of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart after coaching them with Team USA and can relate to players because he was one.
And while all accounts indicate Udoka is cool, calm and collected — he’s not one to cross. Just take it from Gabe Muoneke, who played with him on the Nigerian National Team.
Here’s an excerpt from a story that was circulating around Twitter, via Boston Sports Journal’s John Karalis, in which Muoneke details the events transpired after a game against Algeria. Buckle up.
After the game, they were waiting for us to come out of the locker room. And seriously, I didn’t start it. Kingsley Ogwudire was in front of our team in an all-out tirade in his best Arabic. The next thing you know, there were three Algerian players on him. Everyone was engaged in combat save me, if you can believe it. And low and behold… Ime! He was taking people out like in Mortal Kombat. Finish him! Incredible. I was so out of it as I had five guys I was fighting (oh yeah, the crowd jumped in as the fight spilled over to the court of the championship game of Senegal and Angola).
In the middle of the whole thing I heard Ime, literally in mid-swing of another opponent say, ‘Watch back, Gabe’ and he calmly, I mean calmly, smeared a guy who, as I turned to see his warning, jumped from the stands with a chair to probably kill me or knock me out to where the crowd would have. I mean, Ime caught the guy in mid air with a fist and calmly continued his dispatching of oncoming people. He and other guys (yes, me too) were whoopin’ so many people the crowd backed up. True to the letter! But Ime had the most notches by far.
We probably won’t be seeing that side of Udoka in a head coaching role, but it’s certainly good to know it exists.