Boston Celtics: 3 reasons Ime Udoka is a slam dunk hire

Boston Celtics (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Boston Celtics (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
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If you were wondering what you saw something flying over the moon last night, that was Hardwood Houdini in the afterglow of the Ime Udoka hire. The Boston Celtics are moving in the right direction once more after a 2020-21 season that was spent with their tires stuck in the mud.

Ultimately, the malaise of a muddled season filled with COVID-19 protocol-forced absences and injuries led to a 36-36 finish, a spectacular NBA Play-in game, and a 4-1 stomping at the mercy of the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the postseason. The playoff series was marred by controversy and is mercifully a memory after the Nets failed to advance any further than the following round.

Now optimism abounds as Udoka brings a plethora of positives to Beantown as the new leading voice in the Cs locker room. Let’s take a closer look as to why:

Reason #1 Ime Udoka-Boston Celtics hire was a home run: He’s player-friendly

It’s tough to get a read on whether or not Brad Stevens was truly a player-friendly coach. Looking back at his tenure, there were clear signs of dysfunction during two different eras.

The first era was the much maligned Kyrie Irving era. At this point, you can archive an anthology’s worth of material covering the issues the 2018-19 team had.

Then there was the fall of the Kemba Walker-Celtics relationship in 2020-21. Signs of dysfunction were coming to light down in the Lake Buena Vista bubble, but the lack of consistency in his game due to ongoing knee issues led to Walker being an easy scapegoat for the team’s failures. That’s what the exorbitant price tag does.

It’s not a bad look for the team to have drama leak year in and year out. That’s a problem that cannot persist with Udoka.

Luckily, it sounds as though he’ll have control of the locker room:

Perhaps the fiery personalities in the locker room need a little nuanced tough love, and Udoka seems to possess the traits to be able to provide as such.