Report: 'Strong Voices' Urging Nets' Joe Tsai to Reconsider Plan to Hire Ime Udoka

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVNovember 7, 2022

Joe Tsai, owner of the Brooklyn Nets, watches the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

As the Brooklyn Nets' tumultuous season continues, some are reportedly encouraging governor Joe Tsai not to hire suspended Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka to fill Brooklyn's open coaching position.

According to NBA reporter Marc Stein, "strong voices" have pushed Tsai to hire someone else to take over for fired head coach Steve Nash. That is especially the case "given the considerable turmoil Brooklyn has already faced this season."

It wasn't long ago the Nets seemed to be on an ideal trajectory.

Heading into the 2021-22 season, they had a Big Three of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden and championship aspirations. Then the season started, and Irving missed time because he was unvaccinated against COVID-19, Durant was sidelined at times for injuries and Harden was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Brooklyn was swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Celtics, and an offseason of Irving and Durant trade rumors escalated to the point that the latter gave Tsai an ultimatum to either trade him or fire Nash and general manager Sean Marks, per Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The organization supported Nash during the offseason, but they ultimately fired him after a 2-5 start. The team has since suspended Irving for promoting an antisemitic film on his social media accounts and not apologizing or denouncing the message when given multiple opportunities.

As for the head coaching position, Charania previously reported Udoka was the "strong front-runner" for the position.

While Udoka led the Celtics to the NBA Finals last season, Boston suspended him ahead of the 2022-23 campaign for at least one year.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported an independent law firm investigated the coach and "found that he used crude language in his dialogue with a female subordinate prior to the start of an improper workplace relationship with the woman."

What's more, he reportedly used "verbiage" that was "deemed especially concerning coming from a workplace superior" and made a reinstatement after just one season "difficult."