Dear NBA teams looking into Ime Udoka as a potential head coach candidate despite his year-long Celtics suspension, please don’t.
Ime Udoka won’t be the Celtics head coach for the 2022-23 season and it feels unlikely he’ll return as their coach even after his one-year suspension for workplace misconduct is over.
That doesn’t mean he couldn’t be an NBA head coach again soon enough.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski shed more light on Udoka’s suspension on Friday, including how “crude language” with a female subordinate contributed to the length of his punishment.
The reporter also dropped details on Udoka’s future that feel quite unsavory.
“…Sources told ESPN the Celtics won’t stand in Udoka’s way should he have the chance to become a coaching candidate elsewhere,” Wojnarowski wrote. “There are teams that have tried to gather a preliminary understanding of the full explanation for Udoka’s suspension in preparation for possibly evaluating him for future coaching employment, sources told ESPN.”
NBA teams are reportedly scouting Ime Udoka for potential coaching hire
Let’s just call it what it is: That’s gross.
Udoka took the Celtics to the NBA Finals in his first season in charge. Clearly, he’s a good head coach. So doesn’t that say everything about his misdeeds that Boston isn’t going easy on him? They had the most to lose here and they weren’t willing to give Udoka a slap on the wrist. Instead, Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck took the harder road by pursuing such a lengthy suspension.
“It’s conscience and gut feel,” Grousbeck said. “We collectively came to this and got there but it was not clear what to do but it was clear something substantial needed to be done, and it was.”
That should be enough information for every other team in the league to know Udoka doesn’t deserve a head coaching opportunity until he makes amends, completes his punishment and clearly learns from his mistakes.
Now there is a real possibility that a team with a coach on the hot seat could make an early season move with an eye on snatching up Udoka even before his suspension is complete. If that happens, we’ll know we’re all living in the darkest timeline.