With new Sixers head coach Doc Rivers filling out his coaching staff with Dave Joerger, Dan Burke, Sam Cassell, and Pete Dominguez, it did not appear that holdover assistant coach Ime Udoka would be long for Philadelphia. Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, we learned this morning that Udoka will be heading to Brooklyn to join Steve Nash’s staff as an assistant coach:
Mike D’Antoni and Ime Udoka are finalizing deals to become assistant coaches under Steve Nash with the Brooklyn Nets, sources tell ESPN. Together, D’Antoni and Nash were the architects of the Seven Seconds or Less Offense with the Phoenix Suns in the mid-2000’s.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 30, 2020
After a long assistant coaching career in San Antonio, Udoka joined Brett Brown’s staff in 2019. He has popped up in some rumors for head coaching positions the last few years, and was a strong candidate to come the Chicago Bulls’ new head coach before the job went to Billy Donovan. Now, he’ll spend at least one more year a couple seats down the bench under Nash, who apparently has a thing for former Sixers assistant coaches.
The big news nationally from the alert is Mike D’Antoni reuniting with Nash. Those Suns teams are among the most iconic in recent basketball history. D’Antoni, who had been a finalist for Philadelphia’s head coaching position after announcing he wouldn’t return to Houston, will help guide his former point guard in the new role before presumably re-entering the head coaching job market next summer. It would be similar to the year D’Antoni spent in Philadelphia before first joining the Rockets in 2016.
The Sixers aren’t the only team in the Atlantic Division that has constructed a formidable coaching staff this season. The division projects to have four playoff teams (plus New York, poor Knicks fans). Sports Illustrated might have been eight years too early with news regarding Steve Nash, because “Now this is going to be fun.”