While the Nets went ahead and removed the interim tag from Jacque Vaughn‘s coaching title, the Celtics were left with questions about the future of suspended coach Ime Udoka, wrote Brian Robb of MassLive.
Udoka, 45, reportedly was headed to the Nets and the Celtics were reportedly more than willing to let him go. Udoka, of course, is suspended for the season after what the team deemed an inappropriate relationship with a female employee.
But given the suspension to point guard Kyrie Irving, the Nets may have backed away from hiring Udoka for PR purposes.
“The Nets were already facing a massive firestorm and adding a suspended coach to the fold for inappropriate workplace behavior may have been too much for the organization to handle,” Robb wrote. “Some female Nets employees also rightfully spoke out against the potential hire, per multiple reports.”
Along with the inappropriate relationship, sources told NetsDaily that Udoka sent multiple inappropriate messages to Celtics female staffers.
Udoka was an NBA coach for the first time last season, and led the Celtics to a Finals appearance. So there is no questioning his ability for the job. But based on his recent history off the court, it seems unlikely he’ll coach the Celtics again. Or perhaps anywhere — at least as far as being a head coach is concerned.
“The Nets walking away from Udoka now leaves his situation in a bit of limbo,” Robb wrote. “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.”
Meanwhile, the Celtics seem poised to move on with acting coach Joe Mazzulla, who given his status, could also have the tag removed in front of his name after the season, or perhaps even before that, depending on circumstances.