Knicks owner James Dolan sent a Nigerian basketball brain to Masai Ujiri as president. Some think that Dolan should take a harder look at a Nigerian-American at Ime Udoka as head coach.
Tim Shea, former international scouting director Knicks and Olympic assistant coach for Nigeria, says hiring Udoka would be a progressive move that the club could use. Udoka, the former longtime Spurs player and assistant in his first season with the Sixers, is one of 10 coach Knicks candidates who are not named Tom Thibodeau, the favorite.
Shea and Dozie Mbonu, GM of the Nigerian national team, have staged several conversations about how Udoka deserves to be an NBA coach in these changing times. The NBA started the 2019-2020 season with only eight black coaches.
Udoka is the brother-in-law of the scout Knicks Makhtar Ndiaye, recently appointed GM of the Senegalese national team.
“He was successful as a coach, the undisputed captain of the national team thanks to his leadership and communication skills and his serious approach,” said Shea. “It is very competitive. He is a professional. These are the qualities you need in a coach. People respect this guy’s s-t. He should be the head coach of the Knicks to change the culture there. “
42-year-old Udoka, says Shea, was instrumental in LaMarcus Aldridge who signed with Spurs as a free agent in 2015; the Knicks have never had an encounter with Aldridge.