Suspended Celtics coach Ime Udoka‘s head coaching days in the NBA at large may be numbered, according to one connected source. During an interview with “DJ Vlad” Lyubovny on Lyubovny’s YouTube channel VladTV (YouTube link), player-turned-podcaster Matt Barnes voiced his skepticism regarding a long-term coaching future for Udoka, who led his team to a 51-31 season in 2021/22 and an NBA Finals appearance.
“It’s not about what he did, it’s about who he did it with,” Barnes said. “If everything comes out, he’ll be lucky to coach in the NBA again to be honest with you.”
There’s more out of Boston:
- Celtics assistant coach Damon Stoudamire, who is close friends with Udoka, wants to help Boston continue its trajectory as a perennial contender, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Stoudamire enjoyed a 13-year playing career during which he was named the 1996 Rookie of the Year. “Nothing has changed in the room in what the expectations and the goals are,” Stoudamire said. “We’ve got to be prepared from that standpoint, mentally more than anything, because I think physically things will be there. We’ll get to that point.”
- Although Clippers assistant coach Jay Larranaga has opted to remain in Los Angeles, the Celtics are talking to additional assistant coach prospects to bolster the bench behind interim head coach Joe Mazzulla, reports Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe (Twitter link).
- Mazzulla is retaining the structure and pacing of Udoka’s practices during training camp, but players have noticed differences in approach as the new interim coach strives to establish himself, writes Jared Weiss of The Athletic. “There’s similarities, but there’s some differences as well,” star wing Jaylen Brown said. “But at the end of the day, this group has been together for a while, so we hold each other accountable for what we need to do and the energy level practice gotta be at every single day.”