Report: The Celtics Will Make Nets Assistant Ime Udoka Their Next Head Coach

The Boston Celtics have their next head coach. According to a report by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the team has tabbed Brooklyn Nets assistant Ime Udoka as the next person to lead the team.

While he would be a first-time head coach, Udoka, 43, comes with quite the coaching background. After a 12-year playing career that included stops in the United States and abroad, Udoka joined Gregg Popovich’s staff in San Antonio in 2012. He spent seven years there prior to becoming an assistant under Brett Brown in Philadelphia last season, and this year, he was on Steve Nash’s staff in Brooklyn.

He also has some experience working with Popovich on the staff of USA Basketball, and according to Wojnarowski, that helped give him a leg up on some of the other competitors. Four members of the team that participated at the World Cup in 2019 — Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Jayson Tatum, and the recently-traded Kemba Walker — were members of the Celtics, and Woj reports that they speak fondly of him.

This marks the second major move made by Brad Stevens, the team’s lead executive who left his role as head coach to take over for Danny Ainge in the team’s front office. The first came last week, when he traded Walker to Oklahoma City in a deal that brought Al Horford back to Boston.