It wasn’t too long after the Brooklyn Nets announced their decision to part ways with Steve Nash before suspended Boston Celtics head coach ime udoka emerged as the top candidate for the recently vacated position in Brooklyn. As a matter of fact, Udoka appears to be the lone candidate as the Nets reportedly close in on hiring their new head coach.
For their part, the Celtics seem more than happy to let Udoka leave. According to a report by Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, the team’s confidence in interim coach Joe Mazzulla played a key role in their decision to allow the Nets to negotiate with Udoka:
The Celtics, according to an NBA source, are willing to allow Udoka to coach for another team without compensation. That’s how much they’re ready to move on from this situation. Privately, they have been pleased with the progress of the franchise and the team under Joe Mazzulla’s leadership and are hoping to strip the interim tag in the coming months.
Ime Udoka’s reputation within the Celtics organization was tarnished after his affair with a female employee was made public. The team suspended him for a full season, and it does seem like there’s no coming back for him from this scandal — at least in the point of view of the Celtics organization.
The Nets, on the other hand, are pouncing on the opportunity. It’s also very much possible that their abrupt decision to fire Nash was influenced by the fact that Udoka was still available. He gets a clean slate with the Nets and a chance to redeem himself after his saga in Boston. It obviously won’t be easy, though, but it just feels like Udoka is a perfect fit for the requirements they have in Brooklyn.