When the Nets fired Steve Nash last Tuesday, there was immediately speculation followed by firm reporting that former Nets assistant and currently suspended Celtics head coach Ime Udoka would be his replacement.
It wasn’t shocking considering his connections to Brooklyn, but given the Nets already are trying to put out one off-court fire with the now-suspended Kyrie Irving, adding Udoka to the mix with there still being a great deal of unknown about the specifics of the incident in Boston that led to his suspension seemed like an additional headache to deal with. At the time, it was expected for a Udoka deal to be done by the end of the week, but it’s now nearly a week later and no hire has been made.
As for what the hold up is, it appears Nets owner Joe Tsai has been asked to at least reconsider Udoka’s hiring by some “strong voices” according to Marc Stein, and he seems to be taking that to heart.
League sources say there have been some "strong voices" urging Joe Tsai to back off the Nets' intent to hire suspended Celtics coach Ime Udoka as Steve Nash's successor given the considerable turmoil Brooklyn has already faced this season.
More to come: https://t.co/LGN9cVpMwn
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) November 7, 2022
It would be a fascinating backtrack for a few reasons, not the least of which being the timing of Nash’s firing seemed to be coordinated with at least the understanding Udoka might take over quickly. Considering how quickly the reports came out about the Nets trying to finalize a deal, it’s hard to imagine that all just happened in an hour after Nash was fired. Instead, they’re now just going forward with Jacque Vaughn as the interim (again), and it’s possible their search drags on much longer than expected.
As for who the “strong voices” are asking Tsai to maybe take a different approach, the first thing that comes to mind is that this request is coming from the league office who probably are already very displeased with how the Nets handled the Kyrie Irving fiasco in the week between him posting the link to the antisemitic movie on Twitter to his eventual suspension. We’ll see if Udoka is eventually the choice, but the league and the Nets may not be looking to add another off-court storyline as his hiring would surely lead to more digging around about his suspension and his relationship with a woman on the Celtics staff.