Former Portland Trail Blazer, Jefferson HS prodigy Ime Udoka named a frontrunner as next Chicago Bulls HC

Ashley Young
NBC Sports Northwest

If the Chicago Bulls are looking for its next head coach, looks like the front office already has a replacement in mind.

The Chicago Suns Times reported that Ime Udoka is the frontrunner to become the Bulls' head coach if the team fires embattled coach Jim Boylen. The paper said Toronto Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin is also in the picture. This was first reported by Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic.

Current head coach Jim Boyle was named Chicago's head coach in 2018. In his two-year coaching stint, the Bulls went 17-41 (2018-19) and 22-43 (2019-20). When the coronavirus pandemic suspended the NBA season in mid-March, Chicago was roughly eight games behind the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference standings. 

The last time Chicago reached the NBA playoffs was the 2016-17 season, but ended in an early first round exit to the Boston Celtics in six games.

Is it time for a replacement in the Windy City?

If so, here's why Udoka is considered a front-runner for the position.

Udoka is a product of Jefferson High School in Portland, Oregon. The Portland-native continued his academics and basketball career at the University of San Francisco before transferring back to his hometown to attend Portland State University.

He entered the league in 2003 and spent one season with the Los Angeles Lakers (2003-04), the New York Knicks (2005-06), the Portland Trail Blazers (2006-07), two seasons in San Antonio (2007-09), the Sacramento Kings (2009-10), and then finished his career back in San Antonio (2010-11). 

Udoka remained with the Spurs organization after ending his playing career and became and assistant coach from 2012-19. During his coaching career in San Antonio, the Spurs won the title in 2014. Last season, he joined the Philadelphia 76ers organization. 

Should Udoka be named head coach, he would become the fourth assistant under Sixers coach Brett Brown to land an NBA head coaching job. The other three coaches are Lloyd Pierce (Atlanta Hawks), Mike D'Antoni (Houston Rockets), and Monty Williams (Phoenix Suns).

Will this Portland and RipCity native be headed for the Windy City soon?

Be sure to check out the latest Talkin' Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon.

Former Portland Trail Blazer, Jefferson HS prodigy Ime Udoka named a frontrunner as next Chicago Bulls HC originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

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