Though Udoka’s exit from Massachusetts was certainly unceremonious, as the organization cut ties with him back in February for “violations of team policies,” the relationships with his players appear to have held strong throughout the turbulence and, in a recent shootaround interview, guard Derrick White wished his former coach nothing but the best in Space City.
“I’m happy for him. I definitely wish him the best,” Derrick White said. “I mean, obviously I was with him in San Antonio [where] I started my career so I saw him there but then [I got to see] a different light of him as a head coach. He’s definitely a good basketball mind and he’s going to do a good job.”
The Celtics guard was asked a follow-up regarding the team’s “emotions” seeing their former coach joining a new team while they are amid what’s hoped to be a deep and successful playoff run.
While he made it clear that he’s happy for Ime Udoka, Derrick White said “we’re just focused on Atlanta here and that’s really what my mind’s on.”
Al Horford Opens Up on Ex-Celtics Coach Ime Udoka
Veteran power forward Al Horford was also found answering similar questions to that of Derrick White regarding former Celtics coach Ime Udoka now joining the Houston Rockets.
When asked to share his perspective on the move, though he provided a less in-depth response than his teammate did, the big man still made it clear that he was happy to see Udoka receiving another head coaching opportunity.
“I think it’s good. I think it’s good for him. I’m happy for him,” Al Horford said.
Horford would continue by suggesting that what the team led by Ime Udoka went through last season “carried” the Celtics throughout the 2022-23 campaign and has them now on the cusp of advancing to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Celtics Star Jaylen Brown Mentioned in Twitter Trade Buzz
With the hiring of Ime Udoka to serve as their next head coach, many are now under the impression that the Houston Rockets pursuing a trade with the Boston Celtics for Jaylen Brown this summer could be a possibility.
Soon after the news broke, Bobby Krivitsky of Sports Illustrated shared an article he wrote on the report and suggested via Twitter that the hiring of Udoka could lead to GM Rafael Stone and company looking into acquiring the two-time All-Star.
“Wrote about the #Rockets hiring former #Celtics head coach Ime Udoka, who might look to bring members of Boston’s coaching staff and Jaylen Brown to Houston,” Krivitsky tweeted.
Another Twitter user went on to make a rather bold prediction that the Rockets will wind up reuniting with former franchise cornerstone James Harden via free agency this summer, thus formulating a new dynamic duo between him and Jaylen Brown.
“2023-2024 Houston Rockets
PG- Jalen Green
SG- James Harden
SF- Jaylen Brown
Coach- Ime Udoka
They gonna be scary😳,” they tweeted.
Though Jaylen Brown is currently serving as a major catalyst in a hopeful title push for the Celtics this postseason, for some time now his name has been linked to the Houston Rockets as being a possible trade target for the franchise this coming summer.
With the hiring of Ime Udoka, it’s not surprising that such rumblings have managed to resurface.