Mystery team has been gathering intel on Ime Udoka: ‘Ime was going to be their guy if they fired their current coach’

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

An unknown team reportedly has been gathering intel on suspended Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka.

An Eastern Conference general manager revealed to Fox Sports’ Ric Bucher that a team was gathering intel on Udoka following his suspension by Boston.

“I know for a fact a team was gathering background intel on Ime a week after everything happened in Boston,” the general manager said. “Ime was going to be their guy if they fired their current coach.”

Udoka was suspended by the Celtics for the entire 2022-23 NBA season for multiple violations of team policies. Udoka had multiple violations of sexual misconduct directed at woman in the organization.

The Brooklyn Nets had been rumored to be in the running for Udoka after they fired head coach Steve Nash, but the team opted to make interim head coach Jacque Vaughn the team’s head coach this week.

That leaves Udoka still suspended in Boston, but it’s possible that this mystery team could make a move for him at some point in the 2022-23 campaign.

Udoka led the Celtics to the NBA Finals in the 2021-22 season, although the team fell short to the Golden State Warriors in six games.

Still, Udoka helped turn Boston around from previous seasons. The team was one of the best defensive units in the NBA, and the Celtics finished the regular season with the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Boston went on to beat the Nets, Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat to get to the NBA Finals.

With Udoka suspended, Joe Mazzulla has taken over as Boston’s head coach for the 2022-23 season. The Celtics have picked up right where they left off in the 2021-22 campaign, starting this season with a 8-3 record. They enter their game against the Denver Nuggets on Friday on a four-game winning streak.

Even though Udoka committed a violation that was serious enough for Boston to remove him for a full season, teams appear interested in him because of his coaching ability.

Prior to landing the head coaching gig with Boston, Udoka served as an assistant coach at multiple spots. He began his coaching career with Gregg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs before spending a year as an assistant with both the Philadelphia 76ers and Nets.

Udoka’s coaching future is up in the air until another coach is let go by an NBA team this season or in the coming offseason.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.