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Boston Celtics to hire Brooklyn Nets assistant Ime Udoka as head coach

Boston Celtics to hire Brooklyn Nets assistant Ime Udoka as head coach
Former NBA player and Brooklyn Nets assistant coach Ime Udoka, shown Dec. 5, 2006, played seven seasons in the NBA before joining the San Antonio Spurs' coaching staff in 2012. File Photo by Scott R. Galvin/UPI | License Photo

June 23 (UPI) -- Brooklyn Nets assistant Ime Udoka is set to become the next head coach of the Boston Celtics.

League sources told ESPN, USA Today Sports and the New York Times that Boston is finalizing an agreement with Udoka to make him the team's new coach. According to the outlets, a formal announcement could come as soon as Wednesday.

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Udoka will replace Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens, who stepped down as the team's head coach earlier this month to succeed Danny Ainge in the front office.

The 43-year-old Udoka spent seven years as an assistant under Gregg Popovich with the San Antonio Spurs and one season as an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers before arriving in Brooklyn prior to this season.

He also played seven NBA seasons between the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings and Spurs.

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Udoka quickly separated himself in Boston's search process, according to ESPN, due in part to strong recommendations from Celtics stars Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart, all of whom played for Udoka on Team USA during the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

Milwaukee Bucks assistant Darvin Ham and Los Angeles Clippers assistant Chauncey Billups each had multiple interviews with the Celtics organization. According to reports, both were considered top candidates in the process.

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