Celtics' Ime Udoka reveals three teams that passed on him for head coach jobs

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Celtics' Ime Udoka reveals three teams that passed on him for head coach jobs originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Celtics are headed to the 2022 NBA Finals after defeating the Miami Heat on the road in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

One of the main reasons why Boston is just four wins away from the franchise's 18th championship is the brilliance of its rookie head coach, Ime Udoka.

Udoka has proven to be a great fit with this roster. He's maximized the production of so many players on the roster by putting them in the right roles to succeed. He's done an excellent job holding these players accountable, too, and pushing them hard enough to see consistent improvement. His defensive smarts have helped transform the Celtics into the league's most feared team on that end of the floor. He often makes the right adjustments, whether it's in-game tweaks or changes between games during a playoff series.

Forsberg: Celtics headed to Finals after taking on Udoka's personality

Simply put, the Celtics made a great hire bringing in Udoka at the beginning of the season.

But Udoka's journey to the head coaching ranks was not an easy one. Udoka was a highly regarded assistant for several years, and yet he was consistently passed over by teams with head coach vacancies.

In an interview with Yahoo! Sports' Chris Haynes after the Celtics' Game 7 win over the Miami Heat, Udoka revealed three teams that made him a finalist for their head coach job but ultimately chose the other candidate.

"You really want me to tell you? Detroit, Indiana, Cleveland," Udoka said. "I can go down the list. That was tough because I believe I was ready.

"But I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of an organization that’s pushing for winning and championships. You can be in a lot of different situations. There are only 30 teams and I get that, but to not be in a rebuild and being in an expectation pressure-filled situation, I wouldn’t trade that in any day."

Finishing second so many times had to be frustrating, but it all worked out in the end for Udoka, who landed one of the most prestigious coaching jobs in sports with the Celtics.

Instead of trying to rebuild the Pistons or lead good-but-not great Pacers and Cavaliers squads, Udoka now is in charge of leading one of the league's most complete roster, headlined by two young stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

It wouldn't be surprising if Udoka is the head coach in Boston for a long time.