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Gregg Popovich Gushing Over Jayson Tatum And Ime Udoka Has Me Ready To Run Through A Wall

Live look at yours truly

Listen, I have a brain….sorta. What do you expect Pop to say during this presser? Of course he's going to gas up Jayson Tatum and his longtime friend and former assistant Ime Udoka. You have to understand though, I also do not give a shit. Remember, we're still high off the fumes of this fantastic workout video from the other day

so you could say I am prime for some good old fashioned pandering. That doesn't mean we should then completely ignore what Pop said. In fact a few things stood out. 

With Tatum, if Pop sees it then there's no point in denying it. Tatum is on his way to making another leap. The new skills part makes sense, we did see Tatum improve as a playmaker and unleash tricks from his bag that we hadn't really seen before. That came after the FIBA experiment so what do you think happens after this Team USA run? I am giddy just thinking about it. Reading that quote about how he knows he can dominate people….

At the same time, this isn't really news. We all know Jayson Tatum rules. The part about Ime Udoka though is important because for most of us, he's a huge unknown.

Listen again to Pop list out the keys to coaching. I think we can all agree that he knows a thing or two about that profession

1. Understand how to get the most out of people

2. Develop relationships with players

3. Make people accountable

4. Make them want to play for you

To him, Ime Udoka has all those things. Think of everything that went wrong last season, wouldn't you say it fits into each one of those areas? Maybe now we know why Brad went the way he did. Perhaps he knew that he was struggling with 2-4 and needed someone to come in who could fix it. This is even more important when you remember that Udoka is going to be on the Team USA staff. He can already get started building that relationship with Tatum and then whoever Brad has them out recruiting. 

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But make no mistake, #3 & #4 are big parts of the equation too. I would argue that at times, accountability was an issue for this roster in a sense of guys maybe doing too much, or playing outside of their role. When that happened, Brad sort of just let it happen and played through it. Who knows what to believe with all these covid rule rumors or how Brad was tougher on some than others, but accountability is going to have to be addressed next season. 

I see #4 as a long term thing. Sure the players need to buy in and want to play for their coach, we've seen what this team can do when the players did that for Brad, but this next phase is also about becoming a potential destination. Another reason why Udoka being part of Team USA could be big. How appealing can he make himself and his new team to other elite talents in the league.If a free agent is deciding between the Celts and another team, can Udoka be the tiebreaker?

While both of these things are highly enjoyable, I cannot wait for what comes next. Give me the King Of The Court highlights with Tatum going up against Durant or Beal or pretty much anyone. Give me scrimmage footage. It's the summer, the Celts aren't playing in the Finals, so it's time to shift to what truly matters which is freaking out over summer workout videos. Everyone knows that shit absolutely translates to the regular season and beyond. Day 1 stuff really.