/How Ime Udoka’s ‘real basketball’ detour to Brooklyn helped him get the Celtics to the NBA Finals

How Ime Udoka’s ‘real basketball’ detour to Brooklyn helped him get the Celtics to the NBA Finals

Seemingly every year, teams in the NBA (and the NFL, for that matter) would churn their coaches in a game of musical chairs. The dearth of black coaches would be pointed out, and then summarily ignored.

Until now.

In the past calendar year, eight head coaching jobs went to black men. For the first time, the NBA — whose membership of current players is almost three-quarters black — now has half its head coaching positions filled by black men. Leading that rookie class of hires is Ime Udoka, who stepped out of Steve Nash’s shadow as a Nets assistant and into the spotlight of leading the Celtics to the NBA Finals.

Oh, and to a stunning Game 1 come-from-behind victory at favored Golden State.