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Jayson Tatum says Ime Udoka 'my most favorite coach'

Jayson Tatum says Ime Udoka "my most favorite coach"
Jayson Tatum says Ime Udoka "my most favorite coach" 01:23

SALT LAKE CITY - Boston Celtics All-Star Jayson Tatum said Saturday that his favorite coach to play for has been Ime Udoka.

Udoka was suspended for the season back in September and officially let go this past week when interim coach Joe Mazzulla was formally promoted on Thursday.

Udoka led the Celtics to the NBA Finals last year, his first season as a head coach in the NBA. But in September, the team announced the Udoka had been suspended for the 2022-23 season for committing multiple violations of team policy. The Celtics kept the details of those violations private, but owner Wyc Grousbeck and president of basketball operations Brad Stevens made it clear that the team considered the offenses to be serious.

"It's been a tough situation for everybody involved and as somebody, I've talked to throughout the season, just periodically reaching out," Tatum said when asked Saturday if he's spoken to his former coach. "Nothing crazy just checking in. Telling me he's been watching me play and keep up the good work, things like that." 

"Whatever happened, happened and that doesn't have anything to do with me but I can't take away the relationship me and him have and the impact that he had on me in that one season. I love Coach K. I love Brad. I love Joe. I love all those guys but just a different kind of a relationship I had with Ime. Probably like my most favorite coach I've had and that's not a knock on anybody. I got a great relationship with Joe. I love everything he's doing. I'm extremely happy for him. Brad kinda helped me navigate the NBA, you know, I was nineteen and he watched me grow and put me in the right spots. So I have a different perspective and respect for each coach I've had. Different times in my life," Tatum said.

Tatum and Jaylen Brown are in Salt Lake City this weekend for the NBA All-Star Game.

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