Maxwell shares biggest takeaway from Udoka press conference originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka said all the right things during his introductory press conference Monday.
Perhaps his most notable answer was in regards to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Udoka stressed the importance of pushing the Celtics stars to be even better.
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“They know I’m going to be on their ass, and that’s what they like about me, they’ve asked me about that,” Udoka said. “They want to be pushed, they want to be directed toward winning, and you expect that from your stars.”
That statement made a lasting impression on Celtics great Cedric Maxwell, who believes a little bit of tough love will do Tatum and Brown some good.
“There’s a sense of urgency,” Maxwell said Monday on Early Edition. “I believe that this team right now fundamentally is different. Ime comes in as a different personality (from Brad Stevens). I think he’s logical, he loves the game in a different way, but what I loved about what he said, was ‘Guys expect me to get on their ass.’ That’s what I really want to see, that he’s going to challenge them on the court and off the court. I think that’s gonna be a good thing for the Celtics. …
“I want to see them challenged a lot more. Brown and Tatum, I don’t want to see them fight, but I want to see them get in conflict with other teams and be a lot more aggressive.”
Udoka also delivered a message he hopes to get across to the Celtics duo during his time in Boston.
“Why wait? The talent is there, the work ethic is there, there’s a chance to be a better leader and more vocal at times, but don’t wait for anything. Go out and take it,” he said.
Now, we’ll just have to wait and see how Tatum and Brown respond to their new head coach’s challenge.