When Danny Ainge stepped down from his duties as President of Basketball Operations and appointed Brad Stevens as his successor, there were plenty of questions that needed answers. What direction will the team go down now? Who will be the next head coach? What will Brad Stevens’ first move as president be?
For the most part, those questions got answered. Stevens’ first move was trading away Kemba Walker and bringing back fan-favorite Al Horford. Next up, he hired Brooklyn Nets assistant Ime Udoka as the next head coach of the Celtics. After going two-for-two as President of Operations, Stevens gave Boston fans an idea of what direction the team was going down.
Udoka was officially introduced as Boston’s 18th head coach in a press conference yesterday. In all honesty, he said everything you’d want to hear from your new head coach. Between emphasizing team basketball and lighting a fire underneath the Jays and everyone on the roster, Udoka seemed motivated and ready to make an impact right out of the gate.
Ime Udoka mentioned how hard he’d push his players. He says he’ll be hard on them, but that’s what they want. Players like Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum want Udoka to be hard on them and push them to be the best possible versions of themselves. Udoka mentioned how when he was in San Antonio, he would motivate Kawhi Leonard to go out and take over the game. And as we all know, that’s exactly what he did.
The fact that neither Jaylen nor Jayson made any of the All-NBA teams should put a massive chip on their shoulders. It should be their mission moving forward to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Don’t give these voters a reason to leave you off any of the three teams. Make it so when it’s time to vote, they see both their names and go, ‘yeah, they deserve a spot here.’
Ime Udoka’s press conference should excite every Boston fan. Not only did he say all the right things, but he’s also made great coaching moves. He added Spurs’ assistant Will Hardy, one of the most respected assistant coaches in the league, onto his staff and is targeting former NBA player Damon Stoudamire to join as well.
The start of the season is months away, and there are still plenty of moves to be made, but this team is trending in the right direction. I am pumped to have Udoka in Boston and am intrigued to see what he does moving forward.
The team is in good hands, and although some people may not have known who Ime Udoka was a few weeks ago, they’ll know who he is soon enough.
Get ready, Boston fans. The tides are turning, and there’s no more time to waste. Ime Udoka isn’t here to win participation trophies; he’s here to help raise banner number 18. Let’s get to work.
Photo: Yahoo! Sports