The Nets can thank Kyrie Irving if they don’t end up with Ime Udoka as head coach.
It looked like a done deal a couple of days ago.
The Brooklyn Nets are finalizing a deal to hire suspended Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka, and a formal agreement is expected soon, sources told ESPN.
After parting with coach Steve Nash, the Nets are bringing back Udoka to try and salvage a reeling franchise amid turmoil and a 2-6 start to the season.
Boston is not requiring draft compensation from Brooklyn to hire Udoka, but there are discussions that are taking place before a deal can be finalized, sources said.
The Nets, who have lost six of eight games to start the season after Tuesday night’s 108-99 loss to the Bulls, will keep assistant Jacque Vaughn as the acting head coach until Udoka can start the job.
Boston suspended Udoka for the 2022-23 season for an improper relationship with a subordinate before training camp, but sources say the Celtics never planned to stand in the way of Udoka accepting another coaching job.
That was six days ago and now reports are the NBA doesn’t want the Nets to hire him.
As the Brooklyn Nets’ tumultuous season continues, some are reportedly encouraging governor Joe Tsai not to hire suspended Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka to fill Brooklyn’s open coaching position.
According to NBA reporter Marc Stein, “strong voices” have pushed Tsai to hire someone else to take over for fired head coach Steve Nash. That is especially the case “given the considerable turmoil Brooklyn has already faced this season.”
It wasn’t long ago the Nets seemed to be on an ideal trajectory.
Heading into the 2021-22 season, they had a Big Three of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden and championship aspirations. Then the season started, and Irving missed time because he was unvaccinated against COVID-19, Durant was sidelined at times for injuries and Harden was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers.
Brooklyn was swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Celtics, and an offseason of Irving and Durant trade rumors escalated to the point that the latter gave Tsai an ultimatum to either trade him or fire Nash and general manager Sean Marks, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.
The organization supported Nash during the offseason, but they ultimately fired him after a 2-5 start. The team has since suspended Irving for promoting an antisemitic film on his social media accounts and not apologizing or denouncing the message when given multiple opportunities.
As for the head coaching position, Charania previously reported Udoka was the “strong front-runner” for the position.
Flip the page for the real reason the Celtics fired Ime Udoka.