Report: Brooklyn Nets Owner Being Urged Not To Hire Ime Udoka

NBA: Finals-Boston Celtics at Golden State Warriors
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets are expected to hire suspended Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka to be the team’s next head coach, according to reports. The team recently terminated its contract with former head coach Steve Nash. However, a new report say there has been some apprehension about the potential hire and that Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai has been urged by some close advisors to reconsider his decision to hire Udoka.

The Celtics have granted Udoka permission to pursue another coaching opportunity with another team. Udoka was suspended by the Celtics for a full season for allegedly violating its team policies. The coach was accused of being involved in a consensual, intimate relationship with a female member of the Celtics staff.

“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down,” Udoka said in a statement. “I am sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I will have no further comment.”

One of the issues the Nets face is Kyrie Irving being suspended for four games without pay. Irving was suspended for allegedly retweeting a film that contained antisemitic material, then failing to quickly disavow antisemitic views when in front of reporters. In order for Irving to fully be permitted to return to the team, the team is requiring for him to complete six tasks. In the wake of Irving’s suspension, hiring Udoka is a controversial move, in the opinion of many commentators, due to the Nets taking a hardline approach with Irving when he violated team policies and standards.

The move to let Nash go as the Nets’ head coach was a decision mutually agreed upon by both parties. It came just seven games into the start of the 2022 NBA season. The Nets organization faced a tumultuous off-season under Nash’s leadership, coupled with the fact that Nash struggled to maintain team success since originally being hired back in 2020.

This past off-season was headlined by Nets star Kevin Durant issuing an ultimatum to Nets owner Joe Tsai. Durant reportedly was demanding to be traded if the owner did not fire both Nash and General Manager Sean Marks. Nash issued a statement after reports surfaced about his release, thanking the Nets team, the Tsai family, and the community for the year he got to spend with them.

“A very heartfelt thanks to Joe and Clara Tsai along with Sean Marks for giving me the opportunity to coach the Brooklyn Nets. It was an amazing experience with many challenges that I’m incredibly grateful for. It was a pleasure to work with the players, performance team and front office every day. I’m especially grateful to my coaching staff and video room, who are a talented group with so much character and professionalism.

Lastly, thanks to Brooklyn and the passionate fans who support this team. Family first and my family has found a home here and LOVES being a part of this beautiful community. I wish the Nets all the success in the world and the Nash’s will be rooting for our team as they turn this season around,” Nash wrote.

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