With the NBA regular season coming to a close, head coaching opportunities will become more available.
A pool of candidates always emerges at the start of the offseason and Gregg Popovich hopes former Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka will be part of that mix.
The longtime Spurs coach voiced his support for the disgraced Udoka, who served as an assistant on Popovich’s staff for seven seasons and also played for him, prior to the Celtics shellacking of San Antonio on Sunday.
“Ime was and is and always will be a great friend,” Popovich told reporters, per The Athletic’s Jay King. “So you can imagine that I was deeply disappointed and hurt for him, for everybody involved. It’s a difficult situation for him and my hope is that he will bounce back and find a home.”
With Udoka set to try to guide Boston back to the NBA Finals, the Celtics handed down a season-long suspension to Udoka just prior to the start of training camp for violation of team policies, which reportedly included “unwanted comments” toward a Celtics female staff after being in an “improper” relationship with that individual.
Udoka nearly landed his next head-coaching gig with the Brooklyn Nets in early November. But while Udoka was initially seen as a frontrunner for the job, the Nets pivoted and hired Jacque Vaughn. There were reports that surfaced that women in Brooklyn’s leadership pushed back on the hiring of Udoka.
Despite it all, Popovich continues to back Udoka, which could help Udoka with his search for his next NBA home if he gets the opportunity.