Rockets Coach Ime Udoka Talks Coming Back From Workplace Relationship Scandal That Led To Celtics Dismissal

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On Wednesday, the Houston Rockets officially introduced Ime Udoka as the franchise’s newest head coach.

Team owner Tilman Fertitta introduced Udoka and spoke optimistically about the team’s future. He also thanked the team’s former coach Stephen Silas for healing to get the team to this point.

He said that the team was able to interview some great coaches.

“It was a tough decision, but it wasn’t because there was one person that we felt like was an exceptional candidate to take us to the next level,” he said. “We’re just so excited to have Ime, but he is everything that the Rockets were looking for.”

Udoka said voiced his excitement to get his tenure in Houston underway,

However, Udoka had to address the elephant in the room: the scandal that led to the end of his time in Boston. he was found to have engaged in an “inappropriate workplace relationship” with a woman within the organization.

Unsurprisingly, it was the first question he was asked upon being introduced as the Rockets coach.

Ime Udoka Rockets press conference
Ime Udoka addresses the media for the first time since becoming head coach of the Houston Rockets. (Screenshot: YouTube/Houston Rockets)

Udoka Talked About Steps He Took Following Scandalous Departure From Celtics

“I released a statement months ago when everything happened and apologized to a lot of people for the tough position I put them in,” he said. “I stand by that and I feel much more remorse even now.”

Udoka revealed that he used the months following his dismissal to learn and grow from it. He talked about being accountable for his actions.

“You know, I preach that to the players and so I have to take responsibility for my part in it, Udoka said. “I took leadership and sensitivity training and some counseling with my son to help him improve the situation that I put him in.

“You can grow from adversity and I think I’ve done that this year.”

Rockets GM Rafael Stone revealed that the team had access to the independent investigation commissioned by the Celtics. He said they considered the report’s findings during the hiring process.

“Honestly, I think going forward those things I learned that worked on what helped me become a better coach and leader. So, I looked at this as another challenge.”

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Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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