The Brooklyn Nets didn’t end up hiring Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka, but another NBA club has reportedly been looking into him.
In September, the Celtics announced that they had suspended Udoka for the entire 2022-23 season after an investigation found that he had an intimate relationship with a female member of the Celtics’ organization. It was subsequently reported that Udoka made “unwanted comments toward” the woman.
After the Nets fired head coach Steve Nash, reports indicated that the team was looking at replacing him with Udoka, who was previously an assistant for Brooklyn on Nash’s staff. However, the Nets instead promoted assistant Jacque Vaughn to the head coach role.
Although the Nets passed on Udoka, there was reportedly a mystery team that looked into hiring the 45-year-old. Here’s what a GM from an Eastern Conference team told Ric Bucher of FOX Sports:
“I know for a fact a team was gathering background intel on Ime a week after everything happened in Boston. Ime was going to be their guy if they fired their current coach.”
Udoka led the Celtics to the second-best record in the Eastern Conference last season (51-31). After sweeping the Nets in round one, they eliminated the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks and then the top-seeded Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Despite holding series leads of 1-0 and 2-1 against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, the C’s ultimately lost in six games. Nonetheless, it was a highly successful season in Beantown, with Boston getting back to the finals for the first time in 12 years.
With Udoka suspended for the entire year, the Celtics promoted 34-year-old assistant Joe Mazzulla to the head coaching position. The Celtics enter play on Saturday with a 9-3 record, second-best in the East behind only Milwaukee.
The Nets defeated the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday evening, improving their record to 4-2 under Vaughn. Brooklyn will continue their western road trip on Sunday with an evening showdown against the LeBron James-led Los Angeles Lakers, who are struggling themselves with a 2-10 record through 12 games.
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