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Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown want new Celtics head coach Ime Udoka to be ‘on their ass’

Celtics, Ime Udoka

Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka said he has already developed an understanding with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who want Udoka to coach them hard.

The Celtics officially introduced Udoka as their new head coach Monday. He explained Tatum and Brown know what to expect in terms of coaching methods:

“They’re gonna allow me to coach them and push them and they know I’m gonna be on their ass,” Udoka said, via Jared Weiss of The Athletic. “They asked me about doing that.”

Udoka had previously been serving as an assistant coach with the Brooklyn Nets, though he has long been considered one of the top candidates for head coaching jobs in the past few seasons.

Boston will be an interesting challenge for Udoka.

The Celtics are entering a weird transitory period, of sorts. Brad Stevens is moving from the bench to a lead executive role as president of basketball operations. Meanwhile, Udoka takes over a roster that recently saw Kemba Walker head elsewhere and is now entirely bought in to Tatum and Brown as the leaders of the franchise.

Of course, much of the onus will also be on Tatum and Brown as they hope to guide the Celtics back towards the top of the Eastern Conference.

Both wing players have developed so quickly, it’s sometimes easy to forget they have yet to even turn 25 years old. Tatum and Brown seem to be yearning for more leadership responsibility, which could inform why they hope Udoka will coach them up.