The Nets’ decision to make a head coaching change appears to have given Ime Udoka a new lease on life in the NBA.
Brooklyn and Steve Nash on Tuesday mutually agreed to part ways in wake of the team’s slow start to the 2022-23 season. Shortly thereafter, developing reports from top league insiders elevated suspended Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka from a “strong frontrunner” to replace Nash to the probable next head coach of the Nets.
“The Brooklyn Nets plan to hire Ime Udoka as their new head coach, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium,” Shams Charania tweeted Tuesday afternoon. “Boston granted the Nets permission to speak to Udoka and will allow him to leave freely, sources said.”
Udoka currently is serving a team-issued, season-long suspension for violating franchise rules via reportedly having an “improper” relationship with a member of the Celtics organization. Former top assistant Joe Mazzulla took over for Udoka in Boston and has guided the reigning Eastern Conference champions to a 4-2 start to the season.
Should Charania’s report come to fruition, Udoka will return to familiar surroundings. He was an assistant on Nash’s staff in Brooklyn for the 2020-21 season before taking the job in Boston.
The Celtics and the Nets will meet for the first time this season Dec. 4 at Barclays Center.