Former Brooklyn Nets Assistant Coach Ime Udoka’s Mistakes May Come Back to Bite Him

Ime Udoka, who led the Boston Celtics to the 2022 NBA Finals as head coach, could have been at the NBA Finals at the wheel for the Celtics right now.

After what felt like brief tenures as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs and the Philadelphia 76ers from 2012 to 2020, former NBA veteran and current head coach of the Houston Rockets Ime Udoka found himself in Brooklyn going into the Nets' 2020-21 campaign. Udoka was an assistant coach for the Nets when they almost pushed themselves past the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2021 Conference Semifinals.

The following summer was a big one for Udoka not only because he got the head coaching job for the loaded Boston Celtics, but because he was summoned by USA Basketball to help lead a struggling Team USA team to Gold.

The Americans lost in the Quarterfinals of the 2019 FIBA World Cup to France before Spain were hailed as World Champions. The former Nets assistant coach served as an assistant coach for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

In Udoka's first year as head coach of the Celtics, he not only outcoached his former superior on the Brooklyn Nets Steve Nash in the first round to sweep the Nets, but he led Boston to their first NBA Finals since 2010. His efforts would fall short though to the last days of an unforgettable Golden State Warriors dynasty on its last leg in six games.

With training camp and preseason underway going into the 2022-23 campaign, Udoka was suspended by the Celtics for something that happened within their organization.

Joe Mazulla would later become the interim head coach and today he is now the youngest head coach ever to reach the NBA Finals at 35 years of age. Udoka would get a head coaching job for the Houston Rockets in April of 2023, leading the Rockets to the 11th seed in the Western Conference and going 41-41 along the way. Houston was the 14th seed only going 22-60 before Udoka got there

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Ajayi Brown


Ajayi has covered the NBA for several years, most notably covering the league at large for SLAM and the Brooklyn Nets at several outlets before joining Inside the Nets.