The Brooklyn Nets had a disappointing end to the 2022 season. Although the Nets had Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving healthy and available for their first-round duel with their division rivals Boston Celtics, the Nets struggled a lot in the series, not being able to were able to claim victory. The Celtics easily won the series 4-0.
In his first two seasons as head coach, Steve Nash has welcomed an excess of talent into his roster. In addition to Durant and Kyrie, he also had All-Stars James Harden, LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin. And yet, in his two years as Nets head coach, the Hall of Famer has yet to make it past the second round of the playoffs. Highlighted by the first-round win, they suffered at the hands of the Boston Celtics this year.
Time is running out for Nash and the Nets to deliver. Or at least have a deep playoff run. But some Nets fans believe Nash has already overstepped his welcome in Brooklyn. They are pushing for him to be replaced by 2014 NBA champion and current Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka.
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Udoka spent a season as an assistant with the Brooklyn Nets in 2020-21 before accepting a head coaching position with the Celtics last season. And with Boston just two wins away from winning an NBA-leading 18th championship in its debut season, most assumed Udoka and the lot of last season’s Celtics roster would be back to attend to unfinished business .
But a relationship with a Celtics associate got Udoka in hot water when the franchise announced they were suspending their head coach for the entire 2022-23 season. Following 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’m sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation and I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I will not comment further.”
In his rookie season as head coach, Udoka not only met expectations, he far exceeded them. With the 19-21 season underway, many people thought it was time to split up Celtics All-Star duo 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, securing second place in the Eastern Conference.
But that wasn’t the end of the Celtics’ Cinderella season, as they slaughtered a grueling array of opponents including Eastern Conference heavyweights Nets, Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat en route to the franchise’s first NBA Finals since 2010.
Boston could be without its original head coach this year due to an unexpected turn of events. But they’re bringing back their star duo of Brown and Tatum, which at least gives them a fighting chance at a loaded Eastern Conference.