Who is NBA coach Ime Udoka?
Ime Udoka is a former Nigerian-American basketball player who is currently a professional basketball coach for the Boston Celtics. Udoka had a nomadic spell in the NBA as a player as he turned out for franchises such as the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Portland Trailblazers, San Antonio Spurs, and the Sacramento Kings over a career spanning over 12 years.
Early Beginnings of his NBA Career
Born in 1977, Udoka went to Jefferson High School in his native city of Portland, Oregon.
Udoka went to colleges such as the likes of Utah State Eastern, San Francisco, and Portland State Universities before he was eligible to be picked in the 2000 NBA draft. However, Udoka went undrafted – and had to start his playing career with the International Basketball Association franchise Fargo-Moorhead Beez.
Udoka moved on to Independente in Argentina following which he swung around the NBA Development League with franchises such as the North Charleston Lowgators, Adirondack Wildcats, and the Charleston Lowgators. Udoka finally made his NBA debut for the LA Lakers in 2004 but played only four games for the franchise before he moved back to Charleston. Short spells in Spain, France, and Texas followed for Udoka, who then moved to the New York Knicks – a move that would essentially start his nomadic career in the NBA.
Udoka’s spell as a coach in the NBA
Since his retirement as a player, Udoka has enjoyed a coaching career in the NBA.
After turning out for four NBA franchises in six years including a second spell with the San Antonio Spurs, Udoka hung his boots up in 2011 – and began his coaching stint as an assistant coach with the Spurs. After working in spells as an assistant coach for the Spurs, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Brooklyn Nets from 2012 to 2021, Udoka took up his first job as a head coach with the Boston Celtics.
Udoka has amassed a net worth of $11.5million over his playing and coaching days – which is quite a decent tally. However, even though Udoka is not someone who makes the headlines very often, he was in the news amongst the basketball community for an unwanted reason – and currently has his coaching contract suspended for the 2022/23 season by the Boston franchise.
What is Ime Udoka suspended for?
It turns out that Ime Udoka is in the news for a very unwanted reason.
After taking Boston Celtics to the NBA Finals last season, Udoka was dealt with a major blow ahead of the upcoming season. Udoka has had his coaching contract suspended by the Celtics because of a workplace scandal, where he has been reported to cheating on his wife Nia Long with a female staff member who works at the Celtics.
Udoka is currently engaged to famous Hollywood actress Nia Long, who is most known for her role in the TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but the Celtics boss cheated on his fiancé with an unnamed female staff member – an incident that has caused quite a stir in the NBA community. Udoka now faces serious consequences for his actions following the scandal.
The relationship – even though a consensual one – breaks the franchise’s rule of conduct and hence warrants a suspension period for Udoka. Various reports from different reliable news outlets suggested that Udoka’s suspension will make him miss the entire 2022/23 season at least, which came as a huge blow for the Celtics’ aspirations for this season.
According to NBA Insider and ESPN basketball journalist Adrian Wojnarowski, Udoka was handed an intense ban over the breaching of organizational guidelines. The journalist added: “No final decision has been made on the length of the ban, but internal discussions have included scenarios that would keep Udoka out for the entirety of the 2022/2023 season, sources told ESPN.”
However, there is a general feeling that we won’t see Udoka away from an NBA court for so long.
A possible return to NBA coaching?
It has been in the news that Udoka might well be on his way back to the NBA as a coach.
After the Brooklyn Nets fired Steve Nash following a below par start to their season, Udoka has been linked with a return to coaching. According to reports by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, Udoka is in talks to take up the reins at the Barclays Center – and the deal could well be finalized soon.
After Nash fell out with the Nets players after a struggling start to their season, the two parties parted ways – and hence opened up a very attractive job vacancy. It has been reported that Udoka is interested to join the Nets, and a deal could be finalized within a day or two. According to reports, the Celtics will not mind parting ways with their suspended coach.
Taking up the job at the Nets will see Udoka reunite with Ben Simmons, a player he enjoyed a good working relationship with during their time together at the Celtics. Udoka will also be expected to strengthen the Nets defensively and win the trust of the star players – and it will certainly be interesting to see how his spell with the Nets turns out.