Washburn: Tatum, Brown have chance to lead in Udoka’s absence appeared first on NBC Sports Boston
With practice a week away, the Boston Celtics suddenly have to prepare for a season without their coach.
Ime Udoka is reportedly facing a one-year suspension for breaching organizational guidelines. Assistant Joe Majula is expected to replace him in the interim, but neither he nor anyone else on Boston’s bench has NBA coaching experience.
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If Udoka does take a major punishment, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have even more weight on their shoulders. Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe says the Celtics’ stars will have to step up and lead their team when it needs them most.
“I think they both need to be more vocal,” Washburn said Thursday Early Edition. “Remember, the big story before this all broke out was Jaylen’s reaction to being involved in KD’s (Kevin Durant) trade talks. So Jaylen has to let that go. Now I’m ready to be the leader and now I’m ready to be the man of this group to lead, to be more vocal.
“Same with Jason. All the offseason stuff, all the stuff about Jason playing in the Finals, forget all that. It’s time to be a leader on the floor, off the floor, at practice, at team meals, all Because you guys are the leaders of this group, unquestionably the leaders of this group. The main voice is gone from Ime Udoka at this point. So Jayson and Jaylen are bound to step up and have a stronger voice and forget some of the things that might have been gnawing at them coming into training camp. That’s all gone.”
Even without Udoka, the Celtics have what it takes to return to the NBA Finals and potentially bring home Banner 18. They enter the 2022-23 campaign as favorites to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy. However, with Udoka’s news following Danilo Gallinari’s torn ACL and Robert Williams’ other knee surgery, there’s no doubt it’s been a tough offseason in Boston.
The Celtics begin training camp next week and open their preseason on Oct. 2 against the Charlotte Hornets. Their regular season opener is set for Oct. 18 against the Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden.
You can watch the entire Early Edition segment with Washburn below: