Jaylen Brown says the Kyrie Irving situation ‘probably’ kept the Nets from hiring Ime Udoka

The suspended Celtics coach was reportedly set for a new job in Brooklyn. Then the Kyrie Irving situation happened.

Jaylen Brown believes that his former coach didn't get the job in Brooklyn due to Kyrie Irving's recent controversy The Associated Press

After initially planning to hire Ime Udoka for their head coaching position, the Brooklyn Nets reversed course Wednesday and promoted assistant coach Jacque Vaughn on an interim basis.

According to longtime NBA insider Marc Stein, strong voices urged Nets governor Joe Tsai not to hire Udoka due to “considerable turmoil Brooklyn has already faced this season.”

Much of that turmoil has to do with point guard Kyrie Irving, who was suspended indefinitely after tweeting a link to an antisemitic movie and initially refusing to apologize for it.

Irving has since apologized on social media and the team has outlined several steps Irving must take before returning to action. The suspension is at least five games.


Celtics guard Jaylen Brown told reporters Wednesday that he thinks the Irving situation is what kept the Nets from hiring Udoka.

“I think the Brooklyn Nets have a lot more going on right now with the Kyrie Irving situation, which everyone is monitoring,” Brown said. “I think that’s probably what hindered him getting that spot.”

The Celtics suspended Udoka for one season after finding he violated team policy multiple times.

A former Brooklyn Nets assistant who took the Celtics to the NBA Finals in his first season as a head coach, Udoka might have been a strong fit for Brooklyn basketball-wise.

But, there’s more to the game than just X’s and O’s. Brown thinks that the off-the-court issues with Kyrie Irving likely was the deciding factor in why Udoka didn’t end up with the Nets.


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