Ime Udoka has been hired by the 76ers to be Brett Brown’s lead assistant, according to reports from Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. Udoka has spent his entire coaching career with the San Antonio Spurs. Now, the 41-year-old moves into the spotlight as 2nd only to Brett Brown himself in one of the biggest sports markets in the world.
Udoka has interviewed for a few head coaching positions over the past few seasons and this new opportunity should no doubt help Udoka in his search for his first head coaching gig.
While this is a huge hiring for the Sixers, who lost Billy Lange and Monty Williams in the off-season, it could also be foreshadowing for what may lie ahead.
All season long, particularly after Elton Brand made the two blockbuster moves to acquire Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris, reports have been floating around that Brett Brown’s job is in jeopardy. While 76ers management did come out and say that they fully support Brett Brown and he’ll remain the head coach of the team, we’ve seen this organization publicly state things that they didn’t mean or follow through with.
I’m sure Josh Harris and Elton Brand are big fans of Brett Brown. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have made it this far. However, the league is a business. No matter how much they may like Brown, The Process needs results.
Whether the Sixers resign Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler or not (they are still the favorites to do so), they will have very lofty expectations. If they don’t meet those expectations next season, it wouldn’t be the slightest bit surprising to see Brett Brown be dismissed.
Ime Udoka, a young coach who has been trained by one of the best coaches in league history, would be a fine replacement if Brett Brown were fired. He knows the game, he’s a former player so he’ll garner the players’ respect and he’s highly respected around the league.
The move to bring Udoka in is probably nothing more than an attempt to bolster Brown’s bench. A skeptic could see the move as a potential backdoor plan in case things go south this upcoming season. No matter how things shake out, the Sixers coaching staff will have all eyes on them as next season progresses.
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