Adrian Wojnarowski says Celtics ‘never recovered from Ime Udoka’s sacking’


“These players didn’t accept why the organization did it, they thought it was an overreaction.”

Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck (right) and Brad Stevens (left) held a press conference in September announcing the sacking of Ime Udoka. John Tlumacki/Globe Team

Ahead of Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals on Monday night, an NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski joined ESPN to discuss the impact of Ime Udoka’s dismissal on the Celtics and their game.

Wojnarowski mentioned a concern from the players about the opacity of Boston’s management and their reluctance to share details about the situation.

“For this team and after talking with management, they felt they never got more answers than the public was getting on this,” Wojnarowski said.

Regarding what the players heard, Wojnarowski also said that some in the dressing room felt the punishment for Udoka was too harsh.

“These players didn’t accept why the organization did it, they thought it was an overreaction,” Wojnarowski said. “There were a lot of people outside who thought it was an overreaction, it was an HR issue.”

Stephen A. Smith was one of those people on the outside who felt the situation was being mishandled by the Celtics.

During Monday’s first take, Smith said Boston’s recent struggles are ‘justice’ for the way team management chose to handle the situation which included Udoka’s inappropriate workplace behavior. .

Whether or not the Celtics deserve ‘justice’, they see a tangible impact among the players from Udoka’s sacking.

“It’s a team that really believed in Ime Udoka and had a strong bond with him,” Wojnarowski said. “I think there were a few instances this season where a lot of that angst resurfaced, first when the Brooklyn Nets almost hired Udoka as head coach and then when the Rockets did.”


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