Ime Udoka Likely to be Strong Candidate for Coaching Vacancies

The Celtics removed the interim tag and promoted Joe Mazzulla to head coach, marking the end of the one-year Ime Udoka era.Ime Udoka

Udoka, of course, was suspended at the beginning of the season for what the team called an inappropriate relationship with a female employee. He will now not be returning to Boston.

But despite the suspension, Udoka is expected to be a strong candidate for any coaching vacancies that open over the offseason, per Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.

Udoka, 45. led the Celtics to a 51-31 record and a berth in the Finals last season, his first as a head coach. He was linked to the Nets earlier this season, and was reportedly headed there to take over for fired Steve Nash in November.

The Nets pivoted to Jacque Vaughn instead.

Along with the inappropriate relationship, sources told NetsDaily that Udoka sent multiple inappropriate messages to Celtics female staffers.

“The Nets walking away from Udoka now leaves his situation in a bit of limbo,” Brian Robb of MassLive wrote back in November. “Udoka’s track record of success in coaching speaks for itself but it’s probably going to take time or a desperate team (like the Nets) to give him a second chance so soon. The guess here is he’s going to have to take an assistant job somewhere else now before he gets a chance at a second head coaching gig.”

Udoka spent one season under Nash with the Nets before coming to the Celtics. He was an assistant with Gregg Popovich and the Spurs for the seven years before that.

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