The Celtics made a splash when they announced that former Trail Blazers forward and Portland native Ime Udoka is taking over head coaching duties in Boston. Prior to joining the Celtics, Udoka served as an assistant coach with the Spurs, Sixers and Nets. As a player, Udoka started in 75 games for the Blazers in the 2006-07 season.
During that stint with the Blazers, Udoka made an impression on coach Nate McMillan. In an interview with The Undefeated’s Martenzie Johnson, McMillan explained that Udoka displayed several leadership tendencies during his time as a player in Portland.
“He was a great player for me. Just a selfless player that always kept himself ready, had experience, could play multiple positions, and a guy that was coachable,” said McMillan, who inserted Udoka into Portland’s starting lineup in 2006 and is now the Atlanta Hawks’ interim head coach. “And coaching him you knew that he would one day be on the sidelines coaching. His basketball IQ is very high. Understands the game, understands what is needed out on the floor, and as a player he was able to provide that for us.”
You can read Johnson’s complete profile on Udoka at The Undefeated.