Ime Udoka’s tenure with the San Antonio Spurs might not last much longer, as he is reportedly a finalist for the Detroit Pistons head coach job.
A handful of San Antonio Spurs assistant coaches have sought work elsewhere, in the form of a head coaching job. Ettore Messina and Becky Hammon interviewed for positions, but have yet to be hired, whether it’s due to teams without a final decision on their head-coaching vacancy or that someone else was hired to fill the position.
So far, James Borrego is the only Spurs assistant to be hired elsewhere, as the Charlotte Hornets made him their head coach for the 2018-19 season. However, it seems another coach from Gregg Popovich’s tree could leave for a promotion.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Detroit Pistons have Ime Udoka as a finalist for their head-coach vacancy, Former Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey and Michigan coach John Beilein are the other two in the running. All three will speak with the Pistons for a second time with owner Tom Gores, and it’s unknown when a decision will be made.
Wojnarowski noted that Udoka made “strong impressions” in interviews with the Orlando Magic (Steve Clifford was hired) and the Toronto Raptors (still an open position). He added that it’s an “inevitability” the 40 year old receives a head coaching gig.
It was also reported that neither Beilein or Casey “fully committed himself” to the Pistons job. So could this be Udoka’s to lose, pending the results of the meeting with ownership?
Udoka has coached next to Popovich since 2012. Before that, the former played for San Antonio from 2007-09 and 2010-11, averaging 4.5 points and 2.7 rebounds per game. He had stints before and in between with the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers and the Sacramento Kings.