NBA Rumors: Hawks Have Surprising Candidate For Coaching Vacancy

The Atlanta Hawks have begun their coaching search in earnest after handing Nate McMillan his walking papers earlier this week. And while several leading contenders for the position have emerged, one surprising new name has entered the rumor mill Wednesday night: shamed and suspended former Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka.

According to NBA Insider Marc Stein, league sources say that Udoka has emerged as a person of interest for Atlanta. 

Udoka was suspended for the season by the Celtics after leading the team to the NBA Finals last year, when it was discovered that he'd had an "inappropriate relationship" with a Celtics' staffer. 

Boston officially severed ties with Udoka last week when they named fill-in Joe Mazzulla the full-time permanent coach and signed him to an extension. 

Udoka was also briefly considered for the Brooklyn Nets' job when Steve Nash was fired just a couple of weeks into the season, but with the ugly Kyrie Irving antisemitic situation hanging over them, they decided that one searing controversy was enough, and moved away from considering Udoka.

McMillan was let go earlier this week after a tumultuous season in Atlanta, which has seen the Hawks struggle to stay at .500, and featured a confrontation between the coach and star player Trae Young.

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