The Houston Rockets haven't wasted any time seeking their next head coach, as the Rockets have already spearheaded several interviews in the eight days since the announcement that they were declining Stephen Silas' fourth-year option. The Rockets have now interviewed Toronto Raptors assistant Adrian Griffin, former Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel, former Charlotte Hornets head coach James Borrego, and Phoenix Suns assistant coach Kenny Young.
Next up for the Rockets is Ime Udoka, the embattled former Boston Celtics head coach who led the C's to the 2022 NBA Finals in his first season at the helm. But with Udoka comes off-the-court concerns, which is why he's an option for the Rockets in the first place and why he didn't roam the sidelines in 2022-23.
Udoka was essentially relieved of his duties after the Celtics determined that he violated their personal conduct policy, due to an alleged affair with a member of the organization. The scandal largely prevented Udoka from getting the Brooklyn Nets' head coaching job after the franchise fired Steve Nash, as Nets owner Joe Tsai received negative feedback at the idea of hiring the 45-year-old Udoka.
The Rockets don't share those concerns, as they've done their due diligence, according to Ben Dubose of USA Today's Rockets Wire and SportsTalk 790 AM. Dubose said the following on The Lager Line.
Rockets have reportedly done their due diligence on Udoka's off-the-court situation
"The last we saw of Udoka it was really not for basketball reasons. He got let go before the season due to the alleged affair with a staff member in Boston.
The good news, at least in terms of his candidacy, I've been told that the background, the references, whatever you wanna call it, the Rockets have looked into that and I don't think that will be the reason that he wouldn't get this job.
I think he will be evaluated on his own merits. So if you're an Ime Udoka fan, I think he's going to get a real look and he has some definite pros in his column."
This would certainly be the only concern regarding Udoka's candidacy, as we know the former player-turned-coach knows basketball. Udoka served as an assistant coach on NBA coaching legend Gregg Popovich's staff for seven seasons, witnessing two championship runs by the San Antonio Spurs and seeing the franchise even win one in 2013-14.
For these reasons, Udoka is one of the hottest names on the coaching market this time around, as he's been linked to both the Rockets and the Toronto Raptors, should they make a change at the helm.