The first major domino has fell in the Houston Rockets offseason as Ime Udoka has been announced as the next head coach of the organization. While it’s pleasant to have one question answered, this decision gives way to many more things that need answers.
On the court, Udoka is an awesome hire for a team that was severely missing a voice that could galvanize young men. His track record in his first and only season with the Boston Celtics is impressive considering that he took them to within two wins of hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy.
We should expect to see a level of growth and cohesiveness on the court that this city has been yearning for over these past few seasons. I’m excited to see how Udoka’s no-nonsense attitude factors into a young nucleus that often lacked a commanding sense of guidance over the past three years.
The expectations for the level of defense will be intensified, which as you know, has been a big sticking point for Houston during these downtrodden years. Just another thing to check off the wishlist.
What I like most about Ime is that he very much seems willing to fight his players, the referees and the front office if they were to try to walk over him. Even with that hardened demeanor, his former players still appeared to love playing for him, and that could be huge when it comes to attracting talent to join this team.
While Stephen Silas still seemed to have made an impact on the players within the locker room, it was apparent that he just wasn’t the right voice for this group of guys, and that’s why management went the polar-opposite in their new lead man.
With all of that being said, I am choosing to remain cautiously-optimistic about this hire. Along with Udoka comes deep baggage that the public has not been made fully-privy to, so I’ll actually lean closer to remaining neutral at this time.
In respect to all parties, I don’t want to speculate about what did or didn’t happen, but we can’t ignore that this promising coach was available for a reason. For a team like the Rockets that has refuted the notions of having poor culture, I just hope they did their due diligence.