Despite a hefty news-generating summer surrounding suspended Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka and his in-house scandal, the Brooklyn Nets are reportedly waiting with open arms, “moving toward” naming the 45-year-old as the organization’s next head coach, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Yet, despite Udoka’s actions, which earned him a season-long suspension with the Celtics, forward Jaylen Brown is thrilled his head coach is back on his feet and employed once again.
“I’m just happy to see a Black head coach end up back on his feet,” Brown told Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. “Because I’ve seen situations where something like this might not have been the case.”
Last season, Udoka’s first as a member of the Celtics and his debut campaign as an NBA head coach, saw instant success despite a slow start to the season. The Udoka-led Celtics finished the season just two wins shy of the organization?s first NBA Finals title since 2008 — a massively impressive start which most would interpret as the telltale sign that Udoka was poised to serve as Boston’s head coach for years to come.
However, with the Celtics confirming Udoka violated team policy through relations with a female staffer, that destiny was — in best case scenario — delayed a year before the Nets parted ways with now former head coach Steve Nash on Tuesday.
Longest-tenured Celtics veteran Marcus Smart also chimed in on Udoka in the midst of his likely soon-to-be second chance.
“It makes no sense,” Smart said. “But we can’t control that. We have to control what we can, and I love the team here.”
As of 4 p.m. ET, the hiring of Udoka by the Nets has not been made official.