Why it's time to move past Rockets' Ime Udoka's past transgressions
The Houston Rockets recently concluded their search for the 16th head coach in franchise history when they hired Ime Udoka. And unless you've been under a rock, you surely know the circumstances surrounding why Udoka was available for the Rockets in the first place.
The player-turned-coach had just led the Boston Celtics to the 2022 NBA Finals before essentially being placed on administrative leave by the C's for allegedly having an improper relationship with a staffer. The Brooklyn Nets attempted to hire Udoka when their head coaching position became vacant but were met with resistance from the league office.
The Rockets had conducted their own intelligence on Udoka and the situation and were comfortable enough to move forward with the 45-year-old coach. And as for the aforementioned league office?
Well, they were okay with the move. This is because Udoka was out of the league in 2022-23 and had served his punishment, as stated by league commissioner Adam Silver.
"The Celtics decided that he should be suspended for a year. We reviewed that and determined it was fair under those circumstances."
Why it's time to move past Ime Udoka's missteps off the court
Many felt that Udoka got off easily, as he was able to walk right into a coaching situation in which he'd receive a little over $7 million annually, which many believe is a major shortage of a material consequence. But no salary or occupation would overshadow the embarrassment that arose from the situation, even if it was self-imposed.
And although this has been spun as the Rockets overemphasizing wins and losses on the floor, they weren't the only team that expressed interest in the young coach, which Silver also alluded to.
"And then when other teams — and it wasn't just the Rockets — asked us if he would be able to coach next season, we said he would be."
Udoka came off as remorseful in the presser and has hopefully learned his lesson. And if he hasn't, then he'll squander his shot at redemption.
But the league determined that a one-year suspension would suffice for his past transgressions and he's fulfilled that. Now it's time for everyone to move on.