Boston Celtics team president Brad Stevens is only months removed from coaching the team he now helms the front office of, but he likes what he sees from his chosen replacement Ime Udoka despite early struggles for the Celtics in ways resembling what Stevens himself went through with the team last season.
Speaking on WEEI’s popular sports radio show “Toucher and Rich,” the Celtics president gave Udoka a vote of confidence for how he handled a shootaround gone awry that the new coach cited as a root cause to Boston’s poor play against the Washington Wizards at TD Garden on Wednesday.
“I kind of get a kick about everyone analyzing the shootaround thing,” said Stevens.
“I’ve had the best shootarounds, and we got our butts kicked,” he added. “I’ve also had bad shootarounds, and we regrouped and won.”
“I was there. Ime did a good job. He called it out as soon as he saw it. I’m not going to overreact five games into the season, but there is a problem if we don’t start playing possession to possession.”
Stevens also did not mind Udoka being considerably more vocal in his criticism of players in public than Stevens was in that role. “You are who you are as a coach,” he explained. “That’s who Ime is.”
As for the team itself? “It’s not just about effort,” offered Stevens. “But giving effort is the minimum requirement.”