The Brooklyn Nets sent massive shockwaves throughout the NBA world on Tuesday when they fired head coach Steve Nash.
Although Nash’s 2-5 start to the season was reason enough for his termination, the abrupt nature of it caught many by surprise.
Equally surprising was the news that followed.
According to multiple reports, recently-suspended Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka is a frontrunner to replace Nash.
The swift nature of all these moves brought up an obvious question: why?
Why get rid of Nash in this particular fashion only to bring on Udoka immediately after?
According to ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, there are two primary motivations here: defense and leadership.
“The hope is that Udoka can tighten the Nets defensively and command the respect of franchise’s key players,” Wojnarowski reported.
“Udoka spent a season on Steve Nash’s staff before accepting the Celtics job and winning the Eastern Conference. With suspension, his future in Boston was essentially over.”
So far in 2022-23 the Nets rank 29th in defensive rating. It’s not hard to see why there is concern there.
It’s also not particularly difficult to see why the squad needs a stabilizing presence from a leadership perspective. Kevin Durant’s recent comments about Kyrie Irving were telling.
Now is all of that reason enough to go claim Udoka and all the baggage that accompanies him? It’s debatable.
Udoka’s scandal in Boston and all the ugly details that subsequently emerged are a matter of public record. Ditto for all of Ramona Shelburne’s ominous warnings about him.
Camille Kostek and Gronk won Halloween this year. https://t.co/KcfIALSb2F
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 1, 2022
Everyone involved understands what they are getting themselves into.
Clearly the Nets don’t care.
They just see a guy who led the Celtics to the NBA Finals in his first year with the organization last season.
Time will tell if their calculation ultimately proves to be the right one.
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