June 17, 2024

“I Got So Much Love & Respect For Ime” – Jayson Tatum Credits Former Coach Ime Udoka On His Excellent Record With The Celtics

It is well known that ex-Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka didn”t exactly leave the organization on good terms after having an improper relationship with a staffer.

Despite Udoka”s rocky exit, Jayson Tatum appreciated all that he did for the Celtics in his lone season, helping the team turn things around and make an improbable run to the NBA Finals in 2021-22.

Tatum ready to confront championship expectations

“I”ve got so much love and respect for Ime. You know, coming into that season, people forget we was 23-24 and an 11 seed, we finished the season like 26-3, we went on a crazy run, but I think his approach to the game, to us, that mentality, like we would watch film, and he would pause it, like there was a time I was guarding Bron and I left him get past me, he would pause it and would be like yo, y”all not friends, y”all not homies, you trying to get to where he at, like why would you let that happen.”

Unfortunately, it didn”t result in a championship as they ultimately lost to Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors, but Tatum is very appreciative of what Udoka did for not only his mentality but Boston”s as a whole.

Jayson Tatum and Ime Udoka spent one season together in the Boston Celtics, reaching the NBA Finals in 2022. The Celtics replaced him with assistant coach Joe Mazzulla, who led the team to the Eastern Conference Finals last year.

Opening up about his relationship with Ime Udoka, Tatum had nothing but high praise for his former coach.

“I have got so much love and respect for Ime. Coming into that season, people forget we was 23 and 24, like we was 11th seed. But, I think, his approach to the game, to us, that mentality,”

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Jayson Tatum told Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner during his appearance on the Point Forward, via Clutchpoints.

“We watched film, and he would pause it, and it would be a time I was guarding Bron, and I let him get past me, he would pause it, and he would get you are not friends, you are not homies, like you get to trying to where he at.”

You know, that mentality, he said we are no track team. We gotta play the Nets. We gotta play them. After a year off, Ime Udoka returned to the league this summer and took over the Houston Rockets, looking to take them back to the playoffs. Houston is eighth in the West with 10 wins and nine losses.

Jayson Tatum says he has to do more to win championship with the Boston Celtics Jayson Tatum opened up about the 2022 NBA Finals run with the Boston Celtics and the loss to the Golden State Warriors.

The All-Star forward had high praise for the Warriors” winning mentality and admitted that he has to do more to lead the Celtics to the championship.

Jayson Tatum is averaging 27.5 ppg, 8.7 rpg and 4.2 apg for the Celtics, who lead the way in the East with a 16-5 record.

Celtics star Jayson Tatum has gone on the record talking about how Ime Udoka is his all-time favorite coach throughout his basketball career.

Nothing against his other many coaches, Tatum said, but there was something about the connection they built together on their way to the NBA Finals.

Talking on “The Point Forward” podcast with Andre Igoudala and Evan Turner, Tatum broke down that relationship with Udoka even further even though they only shared one season together.”I got so much love and respect for Ime,”

Tatum said. Like we would watch film and he would pause it. He would pause it and be like, ‘Yo, you’re not friends, you’re not homies.

Udoka now coaches the Rockets after a startling end to his time in Boston. Despite that, Tatum and other Celtics players haven’t wavered much in their thoughts about their former head coach.

Tatum also broke down the Celtics’ path in the playoffs that included the Nets, Bucks then Heat on their way to the NBA Finals. It was the first time the Celtics made it that far in the playoffs since 2010.

On the final day of the regular season, the Celtics smashed a shorthanded Grizzlies team to secure the No. 2 seed in the East. But with the Nets looming after the play-in tournament, there were some teams trying to avoid them in the first round.

Udoka, though, was clear in the message to the team they weren’t ducking anybody.

The Celtics officially moved on from Ime Udoka when it promoted Joe Mazzulla from interim coach to head coach earlier this year.

Jayson Tatum shared that he still speaks with his now former coach five months after Udoka was suspended for at least the entire 2022-23 NBA season by the Celtics for breaking the team’s code of conduct.

“He’s somebody that I’ve talked to throughout the season, just periodically checking in,”

Tatum told reporters of his relationship with Udoka at Saturday’s NBA All-Star Media Day.

Tatum mentioned that Udoka had a lasting impact on him in his lone season as the Celtics’ coach.

“Whatever happened happened, and that doesn’t have anything to do with me,”

Tatum said.

“But I can’t take away the relationship that me and him had and the impact that he had on me in that one season.”

Tatum also made a bit of an admission too when speaking about Udoka. I love Joe. I love all those guys, but there was just a different kind of relationship I had with Ime,” Tatum said.

“[He was] probably like, my most favorite coach I’ve ever had. I’ve got a great relationship with Joe. I love everything that he’s doing.”

“So, I have different perspectives and respect for each coach that I’ve had – just different times in my life.”

Tatum didn’t get too into the specifics of what he and Udoka discuss.

“Nothing crazy, just checking in,” Tatum said. Tatum was also asked if he hoped to see Udoka get another coaching job in the NBA but was interrupted.”

Tatum has spoken highly of Udoka since the coach was suspended in September.

“Ime deserves a lot of credit for how he got us playing, and Joe has stepped up and found his own voice and obviously has got us rolling now,”

Tatum said.

The Celtics reportedly were letting Udoka seek out other job opportunities as he wished. Udoka was in talks to become the Nets’ head coach and the Celtics reportedly weren’t seeking compensation, but Brooklyn opted to promote interim coach Jacque Vaughn instead.

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