Houston Rockets officially name Ime Udoka their next head coach

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Wednesday, April 26, 2023
Rockets to hire coach fired after NBA Finals run in 1st season
The Houston Rockets are moving on with Ime Udoka as their next head coach. Udoka left the Boston Celtics amid scandal after the 2022-2023 season.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Ime Udoka and the Houston Rockets didn't take too long to figure out their next steps.

The NBA club, which just finished with the league's second-worst record, officially announced on Tuesday the hiring of the 45-year-old former Boston Celtics coach.

Terms of their agreement were not immediately disclosed.

Udoka's only year of head coaching experience so far in his career was a 51-win season debut with Boston, where he also reached the NBA Finals.

Udoka, though, wouldn't command the Celtics sideline again after he was suspended and later let go for an improper relationship with a female staff member.

On Monday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Rockets looked into the circumstances around Udoka's departure from the Celtics with the team and league office.

The Udoka scandal was not brought up in the team's announcement.

"Ime's intelligence, drive and toughness were the traits we were looking for in a coach to lead our team through this next stage of our development as we strive to become a champion," Rafael Stone, the Rockets' general manager, said. "We were honored to have the opportunity to speak to multiple outstanding candidates throughout the interview process and felt that Ime's vision best aligned with the goals the Fertitta Family and myself have for the future of the Rockets."

There are no doubts that Udoka and the Rockets face a slew of questions about his past and the hiring decision. An introductory news conference was not mentioned in the announcement.

The Rockets interviewing process began in early April after they chose not to pick up outgoing coach Stephen Silas' option on his contract.