Ime Udoka is set to become the Boston Celtics next head coach, and Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown played a part in the decision to hire the Nets’ assistant coach.

According to the Athletic’s Jay King, both players developed a healthy respect for Udoka, after working with him on 2019 U.S. national team.


The All-Stars already have relationships with Udoka after playing on the 2019 U.S. national team with him as an assistant coach. During that time, Tatum and Brown developed a healthy respect for Udoka, according to sources. When consulted during the coaching search, both players were said to have provided positive reviews.

And the admiration is mutual. Udoka is eager to work with Tatum and Brown more closely moving forward, and was drawn to the job partly because of the opportunity to coach the two young talents, according to a source.

Brad Stevens and the Celtics have numerous issues to address coming off a disappointing 2020-21 season. So, a coach, which can utilize Tatum and Brown full potential, is a ‘must’ as Boston has flaws that’ll be difficult to address based on their available assets and salary cap situation.