How Ime Udoka Feels About His First Celtics-Lakers Rivalry Game

The Celtics-Lakers rivalry continued Friday


BOSTON — Ime Udoka was a new addition to the Boston Celtics coaching staff at the start of the 2021-22 NBA season. He filled the shoes of former head coach Brad Stevens who transitioned into his new role as President of Basketball Operations for the Celtics, so Friday was Udoka’s first rivalry game.

Ahead of the team’s matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers at TD Garden, Udoka and Stevens discussed the teams historic rivalry and what that means for the new head coach.

“You see it from afar, obviously, growing up for years. And to be a part of it now you can feel the buzz around the city and in the organization with the players as well,” Udoka said during a pregame conference. “So we all know what it means. You know, for me, first time going through it, it will be different when we step out there. There are a lot of firsts I’m kind of experiencing on the fly.”

Udoka acknowledged that he’s had many firsts with the Celtics this season and this is just one of the more prominent ones he gets to be a part of.

Leading up to the game, Udoka also noted that Stevens advised him to “buckle up” and enjoy the experience. There’s a first time for everything and the Celtics-Lakers rivalry has to be a check off the coaching bucket list for the newcomer.

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