Marcus Smart Speaks Out On How Ime Udoka’s Name Was ‘Slaughtered’

'It's tough. It makes no sense'


November 2, 2022

Marcus Smart was of the belief Ime Udoka would return to the Celtics after his suspension came to an end.

But it appears that won’t be the case, and the Celtics guard seems blindsided by the reported move that Udoka will be the next head coach of the Nets after they agreed to part ways with Steve Nash on Tuesday. Boston reportedly won’t look for any compensation from Brooklyn.

Udoka was issued a year-long suspension for having an inappropriate workplace relationship with a female Celtics staffer. It later was reported that he made unwanted comments toward the staffer. Because the suspension was given out by the team and not the NBA, Udoka is free to coach again this season if he no longer is employed by the Celtics.

And that looks like it will be the case, and it’s not sitting well with Smart.

In a conversation with The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach, Smart opened up about the confusion and other feelings that came with not getting a whole lot of information on the matter.

“Obviously, we wish he was here,” Smart told Himmelsbach. “We have no control over that. It definitely sucks. I guess it was deemed that whatever happened was enough for him not to be the coach here, but I guess not enough for him (not) to be a coach anywhere else, obviously.

“His name got slandered and slaughtered and it was ‘He’ll probably never coach again.’ And a couple of months later, now he’s possibly going to be the coach of one of our biggest rivals? It’s tough. It makes no sense. But we can’t control that. We have to control what we can, and I love the team here. I love the coaching staff. I love Joe (Mazzulla).”

Smart acknowledged it’s “a tough spot for everybody” because “there’s only so much (the front office) can say,” but it’s apparent the guard is miffed with the lack of information and being left in the dark.

Smart’s frustration is warranted and the Celtics should be more transparent with their players instead of having them find out news regarding their own team via Twitter.

The Celtics, though, will shift their focus to the 5-1 Cleveland Cavaliers, who they play on the road Tuesday night with tip set for 7:30 p.m. ET.

Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images
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