Ime Udoka joins Rockets after Celtics suspension

Houston –

Ime Udoka is everything the Houston Rockets wanted in a coach, and owner Tillman Felitta isn’t worried about the behavior that led to his one-year suspension from the Boston Celtics claims that

Udoka was introduced as Houston’s new coach on Wednesday after being suspended for the season after being found to have an inappropriate relationship with a female staff member.

“The NBA told me that Aim was very happy to be coaching the Houston Rockets. “And after a long, long conversation, I feel so good.”

When asked about the opinion of some fans who didn’t think Udoka deserved a second chance after what happened in Boston, Fertitta vigorously defended his new hire.

“If anyone thinks so, they are not good Christians,” he said. “We are a tolerant society and we all make mistakes. We may not forgive people for some things, but we definitely forgive what happened in his personal situation.” think.”

Udoka did not give details about what happened in Boston, but said he regretted what he did. He said he spent his time trying to repair his relationship with Mr.

“By taking that vacation and fully understanding how many people are affected by poor decisions, you can start with ownership and accountability,” he said. “I preach it for my players, so I have to take responsibility for my role. I went to counseling with my son to help me do it.”

“You can grow out of adversity and think I did it this year,” he continued.

Udoka, 45, who led the Celtics to the NBA Finals, will replace Steven Cyrus, who was fired after three disastrous seasons.

The Rockets have had their worst performance in the past two seasons, and this season they tied for second worst with the Spurs, earning another lottery pick in this year’s draft.

Udoka will take over a team that made the playoffs for eight straight seasons before a January 2021 James Harden trade leads to a full rebuild. He said he plans to acquire some veteran free agents this offseason to add to Houston’s young talent in the process.

The Rockets want to build a team around Jalen Green, the 3rd overall pick in the 2021 draft, and Jabari Smith, the 2nd overall pick in 2022. Winning the draft lottery, with 14% he wins first place.

“It’s up to the players and we have a tremendous amount of young talent and I think there’s a limit on that,” he said. We talked about flexibility, and I think they’ve done a great job for the future.

Udoka led the Celtics to a 51-31 record in one season in Boston. The Celtics finished his regular season with his 26-6 record, beating Brooklyn, Milwaukee and Miami in the playoffs before losing to Golden State in six games in the NBA Finals.

Udoka was undrafted and played professionally in Europe before spending three of his last four years with the Spurs after a seven-year NBA career that included brief stints with the Los Angeles Lakers, Knicks and Trail Blazers.

He then joined Coach Gregg Popovich’s staff as an assistant, working in San Antonio from 2012-2019. Udoka then spent one season each as an assistant with the 76ers and Nets before being hired to replace Brad Stevens in Boston.

Udoka was a candidate to replace Toronto’s Nick Nurse, but was picked by the Rockets over candidates that included Nurse, Sam Cassell and Frank Vogel.

Fertitta and Stone said Wednesday they believe the Rockets have moved from Phase 1 to Phase 2 of their rebuild.

“I expect a lot from them here,” said Fertitta. “It’s time to get on the right track. During the course of this process, I was able to actually interview some great coaches, and it was a tough decision to make, but I think it’s going to take us to the next level.” It wasn’t because I was one person that I felt I was an exceptional candidate for.”

Kevin Porter, Jr. was the only player present at the press conference, and Udoka joked that he was trying to get an advantage over the other players with his new coach.

“Looks like we have some smart players here,” he said. “He’s already trying to get playing time. He’s the only one who showed up.”

Houston’s roster is one of the youngest in the NBA.

“I’m just trying to speed up the process of becoming a pro,” he said. “One of my first messages to players is that youth is no excuse.”

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