News that Brooklyn Nets assistant coach Ime Udoka ― who is in a longtime relationship with Nia Long ― is expected to become the next head coach of the Boston Celtics set social media abuzz.
Both NBA fans and admirers of the “Fatal Affair” actor took to Twitter to cheer Udoka’s new gig and to celebrate the likelihood of seeing Long seated courtside at games.
“Udoka can come to Boston but he’s got to bring Nia Long with him,” one Twitter user wrote Thursday.
“This man put in the work! And Boston gets Nia Long also,” said another. “Big win for Boston!”
Udoka, a retired NBA player, is finalizing an agreement to become the next head coach for the Celtics, ESPN reported Wednesday, citing unnamed sources. Prior to joining the Nets, Udoka was an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs for seven seasons and an assistant for the Philadelphia 76ers for one season.
Long and Udoka went public with their relationship in 2010 and got engaged in 2015, according to Essence. The “Love Jones” actor told the publication last year that she didn’t feel the need to get married.
“Love is complicated, let’s just start there,” she said. “And then you start a marriage, which I’ve never been married. And there’s a reason for that because I don’t know that I need to say ‘I do’ to prove to you that I love you.
“But also, what does marriage really [mean] … that you own me now and I own you? I don’t get that part,” she added.
Long shared similar sentiments with Essence in 2012, telling the magazine that “marriage is not a priority.”
“We’re happy, I’m happy, the kids are fantastic,” she said.
Long and Udoka share 9-year-old son Kez. The actor has 20-year-old son Massai from a previous relationship.
Long celebrated Udoka on Instagram for Father’s Day, sharing a picture of them together with the caption, “Happy Father’s Day Zaddy! We Love you!”
Twitter users congratulated Udoka on Thursday and celebrated the prospect of seeing more of Long: