Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta introduced the team’s new head coach, Ime Udoka, on Wednesday and begged fans for forgiveness.
Fertitta said that critics who were unwilling to give Udoka a second chance were “not good Christians”.
Celtics suspended Udoka in September of 2022-23 NBA season, then fired Udoka in February for allegedly having an affair with a female employee He said the officials were not authorized to speak publicly.
At his first press conference in Houston, Udoka made his first public comment since leaving the Celtics. At Udoka’s side were Fertitta and Rockets general manager Rafael Stone, but he did not offer details of what they knew, including whether he had seen reports from the Celtics investigation. refused.
“What I mean is that I was happy that it was the right hire and that I was comfortable in the process,” Stone said. I’m not going to talk about exactly what I did with Ime.
Udoka said he has “worked on himself in many ways,” including receiving counseling and sensitivity training, and as a result, he will become a better person, leader, father, and coach.
Udoka said, “I made a statement months before it all happened and apologized to many for putting them in a tough position.” I feel more remorse for it.”
He said, “But the situation — the problem — has been resolved, and I can’t say much about it.
Fertitta said he was particularly happy to hire Udoka after speaking with the NBA. “But I think what happened and his personal situation is definitely forgivable.”
In a meeting with sports editors on Tuesday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he had no problem with the team hiring Udoka, but said he didn’t know if Houston officials had seen the investigation report. Silver also said the league reviewed Boston’s investigative report and determined the suspension was fair.
Asked if the Celtics made the right decision to discipline him, Udoka said, “My role in it was to take ownership and accountability.”
Udoka said, “I got a suspension and had to own it honestly.” “So I preach the same thing to everyone. I can’t sit here and hold myself accountable. So it was their right to do it the way they wanted to. That’s the choice they made.”
Played by Udoka seven seasons He played in the NBA primarily as a reserve before becoming a respected assistant coach. almost ten yearsThe Celtics hired him as their head coach prior to the 2021-22 season. His first and only season in Boston was a success. He led the Celtics to his NBA Finals, where they lost to Golden State. Now he will take over his team, the Rockets, who have had one of the worst teams in the league in the last three years. But Houston has a large salary cap space at its disposal, talented young players and high-value draft picks.