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Though it looked like Brooklyn Nets were moving forward in hiring Ime Udoka, owner Joe Tsai is facing pressure not to bring on the suspended Boston coach.
The Brooklyn Nets weren’t looking good. That was before Kyrie Irving was suspended for promoting an antisemitic film on Twitter and before the team parted ways with Steve Nash. The organization, for all intents and purposes, looked to be tail-spinning.
The Nets needed a leader to head up this floundering roster. Someone who could command the respect of the big personalities left on the bench. And who did they turn to? None other than the Celtic’s beleaguered head coach, Ime Udoka, serving a one-year suspension for multiple policy violations surrounding (still somewhat unclear) relations with female staffers.
This prospective hire surprised many in the NBA world. Seeking to revamp what has become not only an image of disarray but also now intolerance, the Nets certainly didn’t need to invite more controversy into their already dysfunctional house.
But now, with the prospect of Ime Udoka joining the team (and Boston not putting up much of a fight to keep him), there have been “strong voices” telling Nets owner Joe Tsai not to finalize the deal.
Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai could be facing pressure not to hire Ime Udoka for several reasons
Based on this information, it’s unclear what’s driving this reticence. It might be as simple as Udoka not being the right fit for the team; though this would be surprising given his focus on defense–exactly what Brooklyn needs.
The concern could also be purely one of image. The Nets have been the punching bag of the league for much of this season, and Udoka would add more fuel to the fire.
The worst-case scenario, however, is one that involves not knowing the full picture regarding Udoka’s suspension in Boston. If more unfortunate news were to surface, this would force the Nets into a precarious situation of dealing with yet another controversy.
Brooklyn’s GM Sean Marks emphasized the need to conduct independent investigations into the matter. Still, the Nets began moving forward with the hire only days after these statements, leading commentators to question the extent of the diligence.
It’s unclear which direction Brooklyn will ultimately head. Days ago it seemed like the Nets were headed to a Udoka coronation to save the team. Now the water is murkier. Already embroiled in one controversy, the Nets better be 100 percent certain with their next franchise-altering decision.