The fate of Ime Udoka, promoted to head coach in Boston after Brad Stevens’ change of post, has upset that of Damon Stoudamire. The one nicknamed « Mighty Mouse » was one of the first technicians that Ime Udoka contacted in order to compose his staff, even before being sure to have the job!
« I said, ‘Let’s make sure you get it first and we’ll talk after. Then I wished him good luck ”, recalled Damon Stoudamire.
A long-standing friendship
The following evening, Ime Udoka contacted his former Spurs teammate again during the 2007-2008 season to confirm the good news. For his part, Damon Stoudamire quickly had to weigh the pros and cons as he prepared to start a sixth season with the Pacific Tigers (NCAA I). The idea of a return to the NBA was not really in his plans, until this opportunity presented itself, which he seized almost without hesitation.
“Doing it for Ime was an easy decision. I didn’t even have to think about it. You want to work with great, quality people, and the relationship I have with him goes beyond basketball, so it was easy ”.
Even before evolving in the NBA, the two had known each other for a long time despite their four-year gap, both from Portland. They were then able to get to know each other by sharing a common connection, Erin Cowan, agent of Ime Udoka and adviser to Damon Stoudamire. The latter has thus followed the evolution of Ime Udoka and has undoubtedly been of good advice to him during his career.
Her mission: to help Ime Udoka put on her new costume
In Boston, Ime Udoka had the opportunity to return the lift to his “big brother” by offering him to return to the NBA but also to continue to act as a big brother within the staff, in particular thanks to his experience of head coach and knowledge of the game.
“Even though it hasn’t been in the NBA, I sat there and I know what it feels like. And I feel like my job is to help her with that and to help her anticipate things, guide her but not give her the answers. No one can give you the answers when you are there. But one of my tasks is to help him make choices and guide him ”, added the hyperactive former playmaker.
The Celtics are a bit in the bottom of the wave and are therefore moving towards a new project with the arrival of Ime Udoka. However, the current workforce is still endowed with elements of choice starting with Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum who will still embody the main strengths of the Massachusetts franchise in 2021-2022. A work base that seems to delight Damon Stoudamire
« It’s crazy to see how young these guys are and how successful they are already », continued Damon Stoudamire. “You don’t realize until you get into this gym, man, that there’s a lot of talent out there. There is a lot of depth in the squad, a lot of competition. I think we are better than people think ”.