Houston Rockets to hire Ime Udoka as next head coach
The Houston Rockets are planning to hire former Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka as their next coach, ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski was first to report Monday.
Woj cited that Udoka and the organization moved “fairly quickly” towards an agreement after initial discussions.
The Rockets, who finished 2022-23 at 22-60, parted ways with head coach Stephen Silas, who had one more year left on his deal, after three seasons. The Rockets have not more than 22 wins since the COVID-shortened 2019-20 season, when they finished 44-28 before getting eliminated by the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the bubble playoffs — Mike D’Antoni’s last year with the franchise.
From a basketball perspective, Udoka brings a hard-nosed, defensive-minded, player-accountable structure into a Rockets culture that desperately needs … well, any semblance of a structure! In his lone season with the Celtics, Udoka went 51-31 and helped lead Boston to their first NBA Finals appearance since 2009-10.
Udoka was suspended and eventually dismissed by the Celtics for Joe Mazzulla after having an inappropriate workplace relationship, while also “using crude language in his dialogue to a female subordinate” before said relationship, according to Woj.
He has yet to address the media since the investigation concluded or since the suspension was handed out. Even then, you can’t help but wonder how the women in the Rockets organization — as well as the Celtics organization — feel, especially since other head coaches who have had reprehensible histories with women have also been hired.
The organization also interviewed Frank Vogel, James Borrego, Kenny Atkinson, Sam Cassell and Nurse, among others. They have a 14 percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.
This is a breaking news story. Stay tuned for updates.
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