Top Spurs assistant coach leaving for position with Sixers

Ime Udoka accepts lead assistant position in Philadelphia

(Photo by Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images)
(Photo by Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images)

SAN ANTONIO – One of the key assistants for Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is headed east. 

Ime Udoka has accepted a position with the Philadelphia 76ers, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. 

Udoka has been an assistant under Popovich since 2012, and played for Popovich for two seasons prior to becoming a coach.

The 41-year-old coach has been a rising name in coaching circles and is known for developing strong relationships with players.

Udoka will be the lead assistant for Sixers head coach Brett Brown, who was also an assistant under Popovich for years.

Udoka was one of three assistant coaches who were seated on the bench next to Popovich last season. The other two are Ettore Messina and Becky Hammon.

Messina is the Spurs lead assistant and Hammon presumably moves up a spot on the bench, but that remains unclear.

Wojnarowski reported that Spurs assistant coach Will Hardy is expected to take on a bigger role on the Spurs coaching staff with Udoka's departure.

Keith Pompey, the lead Sixers reporter for the Philadelphia Enquirer, also reported that Cameron Hodges is headed to Philadelphia as a player development coach.

Hodges had a similar role with the Spurs.

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