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#pounditMonday, July 15, 2024

Report reveals why Nets did not hire Ime Udoka

Ime Udoka claps

Nov 15, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka reacts in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Brooklyn Nets surprised many on Wednesday by naming Jacque Vaughn as their permanent head coach. That meant they opted against hiring Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka, who had been a heavy favorite for the position.

Why did the Nets not hire Udoka after most reporting indicated he was clearly the target? According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the Nets backed down in light of recent controversies surrounding the organization, and an awareness that hiring Udoka would just add fuel to the fire.

“I think it became too difficult for the Nets to hire Ime Udoka with the events of the whole Kyrie Irving situation last week,” Wojnarowski said on ESPN’s “NBA Today.” “Certainly not just the potential backlash, but the disruption that would come with Udoka based on his arrival, probably Irving’s return potentially sometime around the beginning of a potential Udoka tenure. I think for the Nets, they sought some stability and some traction with Jacque Vaughn.”

As soon as the Nets fired Steve Nash, Udoka was reported as the likely replacement. That was before Kyrie Irving promoted an antisemitic film on Twitter, which made the Nets the focal point of controversy and eventually led to Irving’s suspension. Udoka was suspended for the season by the Celtics over inappropriate conduct, and hiring him so quickly would have only led to added scrutiny for the Nets. They seemed to understand that as well.

Vaughn has been a Nets assistant since 2016, so he should bring stability to the job. That is probably the most important thing for the Nets right now.

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