Houston Rockets Hire Ime Udoka After Controversial Exit With Celtics

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One team’s trash is another team’s coach. After an unceremonious split with the Boston Celtics, Ime Udoka will be joining the Houston Rockets as their new head coach. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed the hire Monday.

The Rockets and Udoka look forward to a clean slate after what’s been a rough year for both sides.

Boston suspended Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season after they discovered that the coach had an “inappropriate workplace relationship” with a female member within the organization.

(Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
(Photo by Annette Grant/NBAE via Getty Images)

Ime Udoka, Houston Rockets Ready For Clean Slate

According to Wojnarowski, Houston looked into Udoka’s situation with the Celtics and felt comfortable making the hire.

“The Rockets probed the circumstances around Udoka’s Celtics departure with the team and league office,” Woj reported.

The Celtics fared surprisingly well without Udoka after the coach led Boston to the Finals in his first year (51-31 regular season).

Stepping in for Udoka amid the controversy was assistant coach Joe Mazzulla, who helped the Celtics finish as the second seed in the Eastern Conference heading into the postseason. Boston holds a 3-1 series advantage over the Atlanta Hawks.

Houston was tied with the San Antonio Spurs for the worst record in the West (22-60) last regular season. The Rockets have played a miserable spree of basketball for the past three seasons under former coach Stephen Silas.

As Rockets HC, Silas coached the team to a 59-177 record.

The Brooklyn Nets were on the cusp of making a risky move by hiring suspended Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka as their next head coach, following Steve Nash’s dismissal. Instead, the team opted for a simpler path by hiring interim coach Jacque Vaughn as their official head coach.

On Nov. 2, the Nets were reportedly close to hiring Udoka. Brooklyn announced its pivot toward Vaughn on Wednesday, officially bringing him on as HC after a brief stint as interim coach (his second with the Nets). The team went 2-2 in the four games played under Vaughn.

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Written by Alejandro Avila

Alejandro Avila lives in Southern California and previously covered news for the LA Football Network. Jeopardy expert and grumpy sports fan that has watched every movie.

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