BOSTON (CBS) — Ime Udoka is bringing a fresh voice to the Boston Celtics. And Celtics fans are going to love to hear what that fresh voice had to say on Tuesday.
Following Boston’s practice, Udoka said that he wants to see his new team cut out something that has given the Celtics a bad rep over the last few years: Quit complaining to refs so darn much.READ MORE: Celtics Suspend Marcus Smart For Friday's Preseason Finale For Reportedly Missing Team Flight
The Celtics are far from the only team that complains to officials after a call — or more often, after a missed call. And in their defense, the officiating in the NBA is pretty bad.
But the number of times when certain players — we’re looking at you, Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart — were a step or two behind a play because they were busy sharing their opinion with the zebras was far too abundant over the last few years. So Udoka is telling them to cut it out.
The new man in charge on the Boston bench has made it clear that he’ll be the one who knocks if something needs to be said to officials. It’s not his style to be a constant complainer, so don’t expect a 21st century version of Tommy Heinsohn.READ MORE: Celtics' Al Horford Tests Positive For COVID-19
But he will step up and state his case on behalf of his players when the situation calls for it.
“Only when needed,” Udoka said of his chats with officials. “I stressed that to our team when we got a little chippy out here in practice, guys getting after it. I said, ‘You know, let me bitch at the refs. You guys play through plays and move onto the next thing and let me be the guy who complains to the refs.’ But that’s not the team we want to be and that’s not who I am, so I don’t want the team to start crying about every call.
“We’re not going to be a team that cries the whole time. That is definitely not me,” he added.MORE NEWS: Celtics' Jaylen Brown Tests Positive For COVID-19
That is some sweet, sweet music that Udoka had playing on Tuesday. Now we’ll wait to see just how much restraint Celtics players can show when games — and missed calls — begin later this month.