When it came to Ime Udoka’s introductory press conference with the Houston Rockets Wednesday evening, an easy guess coming in likely was that his tenure with the Boston Celtics, in one way or another, was going to be discussed.
Considering his unceremonious ouster from the franchise two months ago due to “violations of team policies,” the situation is still relatively fresh.
Asked during the Q&A segment of the presser what he could say about his split from the Celtics, Udoka owned up to his actions and noted that he’s attempted to make amends with those he negatively impacted.
“I released a statement months ago when everything happened and apologized to a lot of people for the tough position I put them in and I stand by that. I feel much more remorse even now toward that. I spent this last offseason working on myself in a lot of different ways, improving in areas, a chance to sit back and reflect and go and I think that will make me a better coach and overall a better leader. But the matter’s been resolved and I can’t really speak much about it,” Ime Udoka said about his parting from the Celtics.
In just one season Ime Udoka accumulated a head coaching record of 51-31 during the regular season and a 14-10 record in the playoffs. He would also go on to guide the club to the second seed in the Eastern Conference and their first trip to the NBA Finals in over a decade.
Derrick White ‘Happy’ for Former Celtics Coach
In the initial aftermath of Ime Udoka’s signing with thttps://youtu.be/PV7cXtucVYAhe Houston Rockets, Derrick White was asked during a shootaround interview what his thoughts were of the hiring.
In response, the point guard seemed to be excited for his former Celtics coach, wishing him all the best in his new venture.
“I’m happy for him. I definitely wish him the best,” Derrick White said. “I mean, obviously I was with him in San Antonio [where] I started my career so I saw him there but then [I got to see] a different light of him as a head coach. He’s definitely a good basketball mind and he’s going to do a good job.”
Despite his enthusiasm, however, the Celtics guard would also go on to note that while he and his teammates are happy for Udoka, ultimately, “we’re just focused on Atlanta here and that’s really what my mind’s on.”
Grant Williams a Flight Risk for Celtics This Summer
The Boston Celtics may be faced with some challenges this upcoming offseason, particularly when it comes to retaining their key impending free agent Grant Williams who, in a piece penned by Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley, is considered to be a “medium-high” flight risk.
“You sort of get the sense both he and Boston might be ready for a change, though this probably comes down to price,” Buckley wrote. “If outside suitors don’t hold his second-half slide too much against him, he could fetch a number the Shamrocks have no interest in matching.”
Despite having established himself as a key member of this Boston Celtics team throughout his tenure with the association, now in year four Grant Williams has struggled mightily with his on-court production, specifically as of late, and has fallen out of Joe Mazzulla‘s playoff rotation as a result.
Despite this, however, reports are that the big man is looking for a lofty payday in the $20 million annually range.
Considering these conflicting factors, the Celtics may have some serious decisions to make this coming summer regarding the future of their 24-year-old forward.