The Houston Rockets, one of the worst teams in the NBA this season, will make Ime Udoka, fired by Boston for an extramarital affair with a club employee, their next coach, various media including ESPN reported on Monday.
An agreement between the two parties was reached after the Texas franchise studied the situation relating to this case, with the North American basketball league and the leaders of the Celtics, who had first suspended their coach for the entire current exercise before definitively dismissing him from his functions, specifies the giant of the American sports media.
He will succeed Stephen Silas. The Rockets are part, with the Detroit Pistons and the San Antonio Spurs, of the three teams having finished the regular season with the worst record (22 wins, 60 losses). De facto, these teams each have a 14% chance of picking the best young players first in the next NBA draft, according to a lottery system that will deliver its verdict on May 16.
This directly concerns the French Victor Wembanyama, great hope of world basketball, who should precisely be selected in first position on June 22.
If he lands in Houston, he will then be under the orders of a demanding coach, renowned for his ability to galvanize his troops, in the person of Udoka. For his first season as head coach, after having served for a long time as an assistant in San Antonio, Philadelphia and Brooklyn, the latter led the Celtics to the championship final last year, ultimately losing to Golden State. (4-2).
Ime Udoka, 45, had come close to bouncing back during the season with the Nets, when they parted ways with Steve Nash, before finally trusting interim Jacque Vaughn. Then, more recently, the Toronto Raptors showed interest after Nick Nurse was fired.