How Celtics’ Ime Udoka Feels About Returning To San Antonio To Face Spurs

'I'm not big on nostalgia moments'

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San Antonio is a place Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka used to call home, first as a player and then as an assistant coach under Gregg Popovich.

Udoka, now in his first season with Boston, will face his old organization Friday night when the Celtics square off with the Spurs at AT&T Center.

“I think some point I’ll look down at Pop (Gregg Popovich) and think something, being on the opposing sideline,” Udoka told reporters Friday of returning to San Antonio. “But not much more than that. Until that point, I try to keep the game, my game.”

Udoka, remaining neutral about the reunion with his former franchise, didn’t want to get into the emotional side of things. He has bigger issues to prioritize in his current position with the C’s.

“That’s the honest truth to the way I feel about it,” Udoka told reporters. “I’m not big on nostalgia moments and sentimental things and all that.”

Udoka spent parts of three seasons playing for the Spurs, including his final NBA campaign in 2010-11. He was on Popovich’s coaching staff in San Antonio from 2012 to 2019, after which he spent time as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets en route to joining Boston.

Udoka has said there were many lessons he learned during his years with the Spurs, like the importance of relationship-building. Now, he’s obviously hoping that experience will lead to success with the Celtics.

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