The San Antonio Spurs are losing an assistant coach, but it’s not the one you may have thought a week ago. According to Jay King of The Athletic, Will Hardy is joining former Spurs player/assistant coach Ime Udoka’s staff after he was hired as head coach of the Boston Celtics last week.
The Celtics and new head coach Ime Udoka are finalizing adding Spurs assistant Will Hardy to Udoka’s coaching staff, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA. Hardy, widely respected, played his college ball in MA at Williams.— Jay King (@ByJayKing) June 28, 2021
Hardy has been a rapidly rising name in the coaching profession in recent years, having done interviews with the New York Knicks, Indiana Pacers and Oklahoma City Thunder in the past. He spent 10 seasons with the Spurs, rising from video coordinator in 2011 to assistant coach over the last five years. He also served as the head coach of the Spurs Summer League Team from 2015-2018.
Gregg Popovich, who is preparing to coach Team USA at the Tokyo Olympics next month, will have some work to do to replace him. The good news is it looks like he’ll have Becky Hammon back after the Portland Trail Blazers hired Chauncey Billups as their new head coach, despite rumors that she was the preferred choice of owner Jody Allen. While Spurs fans are thrilled to likely have her back, and the dream that she will one day take over for Pop lives on for now, the decision to hire Billups over her hasn’t been without controversy in Portland.
As for Hardy, good luck to him on his next adventure, and hopefully one day like Udoka — who is replacing Brad Stevens after he moved to the Celtics front office as President of Basketball Operations — Hardy will continue to climb up the ranks expand Pop’s head coaching tree.