The Houston Rockets made headlines on Monday with a splash head coaching hire. The Rockets reportedly reached an agreement with former Celtics leader Ime Udoka.
Udoka led the C’s to the NBA Finals last season but was let go for off the court actions. He’s now landed a new gig with hopes of building another NBA power.
Udoka took over for Boston as head coach in 2021. In his lone season at the helm, his team won 51 games on its way to an Eastern Conference crown. The Celtics fell in the Finals to Steph Curry and the Warriors, but they’d laid a foundation for future success.
Unfortunately, things quickly fell apart for Udoka.
During the offseason, he was suspended for an entire season due to an off the court issue. The two sides later parted ways amid the controversy.
It didn’t take long for the head coach to bounce back, though.
Less than a year after his departure from Boston, he’s found a new home in the NBA. Shams Charania reported that he’ll take over as the Houston Rockets leader next season.
The Houston Rockets are hiring Ime Udoka as their new head coach, sources tell me and @KellyIko.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 24, 2023
Many around the league view this as a home run hire.
Take a look at what the NBA world was saying after the news broke.
I reached out to Ime Udoka to say congratulations on accepting the Rockets head coaching job! Houston is getting a championship-caliber coach.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 24, 2023
Welcome home, Ime Udoka pic.twitter.com/ibiGwLLJma
— ᵂᴵᴸᴸ (@BiasedHouston) April 24, 2023
Udoka to Houston. Great get for them.
— Albert Nguyen (@AnalyticsCapper) April 24, 2023
Many think the city of Houston now has a trio of top notch professional coaches.
Houston Sports now has an elite head coaching trio:#Texans — DeMeco Ryans#Rockets — Ime Udoka#Astros — Dusty Baker pic.twitter.com/5ff7VIvR2H
— Bradeaux (@BradeauxNBA) April 24, 2023
While questions about the scandal from Boston will ultimately come, the Rockets said they did their homework on the situation that led to his dismissal.
Ime Udoka will take over a young roster that won just 22 games last year. He’ll have an uphill battle in turning the team around, but with rumors buzzing about James Harden’s return to the Rockets, maybe some pieces will fall into place.