Boston Celtics

Celtics President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens is in a unique position: he had to hire his own replacement. So now that Ime Udoka is at the helm, the question is: will Stevens hang over the new head coach’s shoulder too much?

Udoka indicated that he will have the freedom to coach the Celtics the way he wants, as part of a new interview with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak & Bertrand on Tuesday. Udoka was asked what he thinks it will be like with the previous head coach working above him in the C’s front office, and sounded like he will have the leeway to run his own operation on the court.

“It’s a very unique situation, of course, to be the head coach still in the building in that next capacity now, but it’s also very beneficial,” Udoka said. “Somebody I can lean on and talk to about things that he went through over the past eight years, being hands-on with the guys. But also, he’s great at letting me do my thing, and he made that clear from day 1. Danny [Ainge] let him do it, and ownership is great as far as that, ‘I’m gonna let you be who you are.’ The things that attracted [Stevens] to me, he’s allowing me to do, and he’s there more as a sounding board and somebody that I can obviously go next door to and talk about certain situations.

“I only see it as a benefit, and not a threat to me at all, and our conversations have been great alluding to that.”

Udoka also talked about Marcus Smart’s role in the next era of the team, his initial conversations with Wyc Grousbeck, and his thoughts on the perception of Boston as a city around the NBA. Listen above for the full interview.

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Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @mattydsays. You can also email him at