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Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka has breakthrough case of COVID

Oct 31, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ime Udoka against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 31, 2018; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Ime Udoka against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

New Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka has a breakthrough case of COVID-19 and did not participate in person at the team’s media day Monday.

Udoka handled his interview via Zoom. However, Udoka said he hopes to be with the team on Day 1 of training camp Tuesday.

Udoka, hired as the head coach in late June, is in his 10th day of isolation. Udoka said he is feeling “regular” and had a slight headache a few days ago.

Udoka, who is fully vaccinated. maintained that it’s the players’ choice whether to get vaccinated but said there will “repercussions if you are not.”

“Guys have been informed and educated pretty vigorously on all of the vaccination benefits,” Udoka said Monday. “The closer we get to 100 percent, the better for the team.”

Udoka was asked about his vision for the Celtics in Year 1.

“Balance overall,” Udoka said. “We can play big, small, faster, slower. We’re gonna look at all those options through training camp and tinker with our lineup.”

Udoka, 44, is a longtime disciple of San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, having worked on Popovich’s Spurs staff for seven years and serving as his assistant at the 2019 World Cup tournament.

Following his time in San Antonio, Udoka joined the Philadelphia 76ers for a year before spending this past season on the Brooklyn Nets staff.

The Portland, Ore., native played seven seasons in the NBA, averaging 5.2 points and 2.9 rebounds per game while playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings and the Spurs.

While with the Blazers in 2006-07, Udoka started 75 games and averaged 8.4 points and 3.7 rebounds.

–Field Level Media