Brad Stevens Defends Ime Udoka Publicly Calling Out Celtics

'I don't think that it's wrong necessarily to have an authentic approach'

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October 29, 2021

Ime Udoka kind of called out Jaylen Brown after the Boston Celtics dropped a game to the Wizards on Wednesday night.

When asked about the wing’s inconsistencies so far this season after the loss to Washington, dealing with COVID-19 and knee soreness already, the first-year head coach didn’t quite have an answer.

“The contrast of some of those previous games, especially Charlotte and the New York game, and then the way you see him come out tonight is kind of mind boggling,” Udoka said Wednesday night.

Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens was asked about Udoka’s comments Friday during his weekly interview on 98.5 The Sports Hub — regarding what he said about Brown and a prediction Udoka made about Boston getting their “(expletive) kicked)” based on the lack of focus they showed in shootaround.

Stevens stood by the coach’s authentic approach, though it may be different than his own.

“I hired Ime I because I’ve got a great deal of respect for him as a person,” Stevens said. “He’s got a great humility about him. He has a real approachability about him. I think that he can be very demanding but also, like he’s a guy that he can yell at you but you get over it really quickly. He’s got a lot of great personality traits. But you know, I’d never tell somebody to do something that’s not themselves.

“I don’t think calling people out public was necessary. But you can do it all kinds of different ways, right? And so I don’t think it’s wrong. I don’t think it’s right. I just think you have to do it to your personality. … I don’t think that it’s wrong necessarily to have an authentic approach. I think it’s the right way to be.”

Stevens went on to discuss how when you aren’t necessarily used to dealing with the media so much, learning what to say to media after an emotional loss can be a learning curve.

He didn’t specify that was the case with Udoka’s recent media comments, but it highlighted the fact that this is a growing experience for everybody.

Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images
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