The Brooklyn Nets parted ways with Head Coach Steve Nash Tuesday and suspended Boston Celtics Head Coach Ime Udoka as the frontrunner to replace him.
According to Bleacher Report, Udoka, who was suspended for this NBA season by the Celtics after it was revealed that he was having an affair with a female team employee, is considered the top candidate for the job. Sports Illustrated reporter Chris Mannix is also reporting that the Nets and Celtics are in “advanced discussions” about a contract for him to take over as the Nets head coach.
Nash, who had no coaching experience at any level, and the Nets agreed to part ways Tuesday after two plus rocky seasons in Brooklyn that saw point guard Kyrie Irving miss numerous games due to his refusal to get vaccinated for the COVID-19 pandemic among other issues.
Nets assistant Jacque Vaughn will coach the team beginning tonight against the Chicago Bulls on an interim basis until a new coach is found. Udoka is still part of the Celtics organization meaning the team would have to grant permission for Udoka to interview with the Nets. However, according to multiple sources, the Celtics are willing to let Udoka leave.
Udoka, 45, guided the Celtics to a 51-31 record last season and an appearance in the NBA Finals. It was Udoka’s first season coaching the team, making him one of the most notable figures on the team. The Nets are currently off to a 2-5 start including Monday night’s loss to the Indiana Pacers.
The Nets are also dealing with issues outside of their lackluster play. Irving is dealing with the social media backlash to anti-Semitic statements he posted on social media. Forward Ben Simmonds is still terrified of shooting the basketball and now even celebrities are questioning his commitment to the game.
Additionally, the team also was dead last in ticket sales last season. In comparison, the Knicks, who didn’t make the playoffs last season and haven’t been a legitimate NBA title contender since Patrick Ewing was still on the team, finished sixth in attendance last season according to ESPN. Another candidated for the Nets head coaching position is former Utah Jazz coach Quin Snyder