The Boston Celtics are concluding an agreement with Brooklyn Nets assistant Ime Udoka to make him the franchise’s new coach, sources told ESPN.
Udoka will supplant Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens, who stepped down as coach recently to supplant Danny Ainge running the franchise’s basketball operations.
Udoka, 43, isolated himself rapidly in the search process, sources said, and his bid was supported with solid suggestions from key Celtics stars – including Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart – who played for Udoka in Team USA in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Udoka was an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs for seven seasons under coach Gregg Popovich. He left San Antonio to join Brett Brown’s staff in Philadelphia two years prior and continued onward to Brooklyn under Steve Nash this season. He spent several years in pro basketball as a player, incorporating stops with the Lakers, Blazers, Kings, Knicks and Spurs.
Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham and LA Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups had different interviews with the Celtics. Both were viewed as top candidates all the while, sources said.