The Detroit Pistons will reportedly interview San Antonio Spurs assistant Ime Udoka for their head coach opening, according to Yahoo’s Shams Charania.
San Antonio Spurs assistants have been active in the head coach market. James Borrego already departed to the Charlotte Hornets, taking over for the fired Steve Clifford. Becky Hammon and Ettore Messina also spoke with multiple teams, but neither were hired as head coaches of the Milwaukee Bucks and other spots they were considered for.
However, there’s also Ime Udoka, who recently interviewed with the Toronto Raptors. He will add the Detroit Pistons opening to the list of sit-downs, according to Yahoo’s Shams Charania. It stemmed from the report that Detroit planned to talk to former NBA champion Kenny Smith, former Raptors coach Dwane Casey and Miami Heat assistant Juwan Howard.
The Pistons dismissed Stan Van Gundy in early May, after he coached the team for four seasons and held a main executive role. This included the trade for Blake Griffin before the 2018 NBA Trade Deadline and the contract extension for Reggie Jackson.
As for Udoka, he faces competition from the reigning NBA Coach of the Year, a long-tenured Heat assistant/player and someone with no coaching experience but the bird’s eye view from behind the desk on TNT. So, the long time Spurs assistant does not have the name recognition but owns plenty of experience, especially next to Gregg Popovich in a playing stint, as well.
It’s at least a positive, though, that Spurs assistants continue to receive opportunities at head coach gigs. Working under Popovich and his 21 consecutive playoff appearances likely help, which also ties to Mike Budenholzer receiving two jobs and Brett Brown’s hiring by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2013.
Will Udoka find a head coaching job? What about the other Spurs assistants this offseason?