The Brooklyn Nets had a disappointing ending to the 2022 season. Although the Nets had Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving healthy and available for their first-round clash with their division rival Boston Celtics, the Nets struggled mightily in the series as they could not register a win. The Celtics won the series handily in a 4-0 sweep.
In his first two seasons as head coach, Steve Nash has welcomed a surplus of talent on his roster. Aside from Durant and Kyrie, he has also had All-Stars James Harden, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Blake Griffin. And still, the Hall of Famer has yet to make it past the second round of the playoffs in his two years as Nets head coach. Highlighted by the first-round sweep, they suffered at the hands of the Boston Celtics this year.
The time is ticking for Nash and the Nets to deliver. Or, at the very least, have a deep playoff run. But some Nets fans believe that Nash has already overstayed his welcome in Brooklyn. They are urging for him to be replaced by 2014 NBA champion and current Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka.
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Udoka Breaks Silence Amid Celtics Suspension
Udoka spent one season as an assistant with the Brooklyn Nets in 2020-21 before accepting a head coaching position with the Celtics last season. And after having Boston just two wins away from winning an NBA-leading 18th championship in his first season, most assumed Udoka and the lot of the Celtics roster from last season would be back to settle unfinished business.
But a relationship with a female member of the Celtics staff has landed Udoka in hot water, as the franchise announced they would be suspending their head coach for the entire 2022-23 season. Upon his suspension, Udoka released a statement expressing deep regret for his actions.
“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down,” Udoka said in a statement via ESPN’s Malika Andrews.
“I am sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I will have no further comment.”
Udoka Exceeded Expectations in First Year
In his rookie season as head coach, Udoka not only reached expectations but far exceeded them. After starting the season 19-21, many people thought it might be time to split up the Celtics All-Star duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
But in a miraculous turn of events, Boston finished the second half of the season with a record of 32-10, earning themselves the second seed in the Eastern Conference.
But that wasn’t the end of the Celtics’ Cinderella season, as they slayed a murderer’s row of opponents that included Eastern Conference heavyweights Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, and Miami Heat on their way to the franchise’s first NBA Finals appearance since 2010.
Boston may be devoid of their original head coach this year in an unexpected turn of events. But they are bringing back their star duo of Brown and Tatum, which gives them at least a fighting chance to compete in a loaded Eastern Conference.