On Thursday, the 76ers announced that they are adding Ime Udoka, 41, to be the lead assistant on Brett Brown’s staff. Udoka and Brown have crossed paths before, dating back to Udoka’s playing days with the Spurs and the one season that he and Brown were on the same coaching staff together.
Udoka has been under Popovich since 2012 and has been considered by many in the Spurs organization as Pops right-hand man. He also played a very key role in the acquisition of LaMarcus Aldridge. The two players played with one another not too long before Udoka retired. At the time of free agency, Aldridge was still on the fence on choosing the Suns or Spurs as Udoka swayed him to head to San Antonio.
One key thing that many front offices have noticed about Udoka is how personable he can be when speaking to players. Being that he’s still young and knowledgeable, he can be an asset of communication between Brown and the team.
With a big offseason ahead of the Sixers, not much has been revealed as to what Udoka’s exact role will be on the staff but he is there fill the void Monty Williams left. There hasn’t been much said as to what connection he may have with pending free agents Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler but a presence like his may be what this team needs.
The team’s budding superstars are still fairly young and depending on who they retain or add this offseason, Udoka may come in handy when it comes to the players having someone they can relate to. This also adds another Spurs footprint to the coaching staff, so one can only wonder the culture that is being developed. With Championship aspirations for a fairly young club, Udoka may be a key ingredient in what Brown is trying to build.
This year will be a very important one for the young ball club, if Brown hopes to continue as the Sixers coach for years to come then it will take all hands on deck from each member of the organization.
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