Celtics ‘Never Got Over’ Ime Udoka Being Dismissed As Head Coach
The Boston Celtics face a 3-0 series deficit in the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat despite coming into the series as heavy favorites.
“This locker room never got over Ime Udoka’s dismissal as head coach,” said Adrian Wojnarowski on ESPN on Monday when trying to explain why the Celtics are on the brink of elimination. “These players did not accept the organization’s reasoning for doing it. They thought it was a wild overreaction. There were a lot of the people on the outside thought it was an overreaction. That it was an HR matter.
“I think for this team and talking to the management, they never got any more answers than the public was getting on this. This doesn’t mean they haven’t accepted Joe Mazzulla as head coach, but this is a team that really believed in Ime Udoka and had a strong connection with him.
“I think there were a couple instances this season where a lot of that angst resurfaced. First, when the Brooklyn Nets nearly hired Udoka as head coach and then when the Rockets did. Certainly those were factors.”
Wojnarowski also suggested the Celtics possibly made a mistake in not hiring a more experienced assistant coach under Mazzulla.