Celtics’ Grant Williams Supports ‘Difficult’ Ime Udoka Departure

'It's one of those difficult decisions that had to be made'


February 19

Grant Williams expressed his support for the Boston Celtics’ head coaching decisions within the past year.

With the Celtics sitting atop the NBA standings at 42-17 at the league’s All-Star break, Boston elected to wait no longer and rewarded Joe Mazzulla for steering the team in the right direction. And the task of doing so came on short notice with a full-on media storm surrounding the team for all the wrong reasons, courtesy of ex-head coach Ime Udoka. That scandal eventually forced his departure from Boston after an NBA Finals appearance and was rumored to have prevented the Brooklyn Nets from giving Udoka a second chance once they fired Steve Nash back in November.

Williams, who’s played under three head coaches in four seasons with the Celtics, felt Boston had no choice but to fully move on from Udoka.

“When it comes to Ime, it’s one of those difficult decisions that had to be made,” Williams told The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn. “As a player under him, I will always have tremendous respect for him as a person and as a man and his ability to not only coach a basketball team; he’s a phenomenal coach in his own right. It’s disappointing he’s going to be gone but hopefully he’ll have a successful venture in the future and we’ll get to see him again.”

Before representing the Celtics alongside Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown in Sunday night’s NBA All-Star Game, Boston made its decision to remove Joe Mazzulla’s interim tag, another move Williams co-signed.

“I feel really excited for Joe,” Williams said. “He’s a phenomenal person, a phenomenal coach. He’s done a phenomenal job with us this year and in the organization for the last four years. Guys have tremendous respect for him and I know the organization and across the league he has respect as well.”

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Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown and former coach Ime Udoka
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