Sad News: Boston Celtics Player Loss a Son…

Ime Udoka addresses Celtics scandal during his Rockets introduction

BOSTON — Ime Udoka was introduced by the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, ready to start a new chapter in his NBA career. But he knew that he’d have to address his previous chapter: An unceremonious departure from the Boston Celtics after one season.

Fresh off a trip to the NBA Finals, the Celtics sent shockwaves throughout the NBA when the team suspended Udoka on the eve of training camp for multiple violations of team policy. The reasons for that suspension have been shrouded in mystery, but it’s been widely reported that Udoka was having an inappropriate relationship with a female Celtics employee.

By mid-February, the Celtics took the interim tag off head coach Joe Mazzulla, and made it clear that Udoka’s employment with the team was over. He was free to go anywhere he wanted.

The Rockets reportedly conducted an investigation with the NBA league office and the Celtics, and were not deterred from hiring Udoka.

“They’ve done due diligence on who I am as a person,” Udoka said at his introductory press conference in Houston on Wednesday.

As for what happened in Boston, Udoka said that he couldn’t say much on the matter.

“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 towards that,” said Udoka. “I spent this last offseason working on myself in a lot of different ways, improving in areas. It was a chance to sit back and reflect and grow. I think that will make me a better coach and a better leader.”

Udoka said that the situation has been resolved, but he still can’t speak much about it. Later in the press conference, he said that he made a bad decision and regrets how it impacted a lot of people, including his son. Udoka said that he’s done counseling with his son, as well as sensitivity training.

He added that the Celtics were in their right to suspend him and accepts the outcome.

“My part in it was to take accountability and ownership of my part,” he said. “[The Celtics] had a choice to make a decision and they went that route. My thing was to own up to it, take responsibility and serve the suspension. I had to own it, honestly.”

Udoka helped lead the Celtics to the NBA Finals in his only season with the team, and will now take over a rebuilding Rockets team that has one of the youngest rosters in the NBA.

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