Rockets new manager Ime Udoka says young players need to step up: ‘Youth is not an excuse’

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This Wednesday afternoon the Houston administration finally introduced Ime Udoka as their squad’s new head coach, and it seems he is everything the Rockets were looking for, as club owner Tilman Feritta dismissed any resentment over the situation that kept the trainer suspended for almost a year. 

Following the revelation of Udoka’s inappropiate relationship with a female from the Celtics’ staff, the coach had to stay away from basketball courts after he took Boston to the NBA Finals in only his first season leading the team from Massachusetts.

“The NBA told me that they felt very comfortable with Ime becoming the coach of the Houston Rockets,” Fertitta said. “And so that made me feel really good after a lengthy, lengthy conversation.”

Apparently, there is a section of NBA fans who believe that the coach does not deserve a second opportunity guiding a NBA roster, but the Rockets owner defended his new hire with no remorse.

“They’re not a good Christian person if somebody thinks that,” Fertitta assured. “We’re a forgiving society and everybody makes mistakes. And some things maybe we shouldn’t forgive people for but, but I think what happened in his personal situation is definitely something we forgive for.”

Even though Udoka did not specify what truly happened in Boston, he simply dedicated his statement to make sure everyone present understood he’s worked hard on himself all year to improve his nature.

“Having that time off and really a full understanding of how many people you impact by a poor decision, that’s where you start with the ownership and accountability,” the new coach expressed. “I preach that for the players and so I have to take responsibility for my part. I took leadership and sensitivity training and (did) some counseling with my son to help him improve the situation that I put him in.”

“You can grow from adversity and think I’ve done that this year,” he continued.

Porter Jr. was the only player to attend the press conference, and Udoka appreciated it

During the press conference, Fertitta and General Manager Rafael Stone guarantee that everything is going according to plan, as hiring a new manager was the first phase, the second is to perform a winning-record this next campaign.

“I’m expecting a lot from these guys here,” Fertitta said. “It’s time to get on the right path. Over the course of this process, we got to really interview some great coaches and it was a tough decision, but it wasn’t because it was one person that we just felt like was an exceptional candidate to take us to the next level.”

If you’re interested, check out the entire press conference in the video below:

As Kevin Porter Jr. was the only Houston player to attend the press conference, Udoka said he’s just trying to get ahead of his teammates. “I see I got a smart player here,” he joked around. “He’s trying to get some playing time already — only guy that showed up.”

Finally, as the Rockets’ roster is one of the youngest in the league, he sent a strong message to all the youth. “I’m just trying to expedite the process of becoming professionals,” he stated. “To the players, one of my first messages would be youth is not an excuse.”