Ime Udoka To "Put Everyone's Feet To The Fire" In New Head Coaching Gig

It'll be quite a change for Ime Udoka. Going from a veteran-laden, Finals-ready, superstar-led team in the Boston Celtics, to the uber-young, defensively-challenged, perennial 60-game losing Houston Rockets. But according to Rockets & Celtics Insiders Kelly Iko and Jared Weiss of The Athletic, Udoka won't stand for any of Houston's youngsters' nonsense, and there will be changes: 

Udoka is going to put everyone’s feet to the fire and quickly identify who has the potential to lead and who needs to go... 

There are like 50 prospects on this roster who need development. Who knows who will be leftover once they use their roughly $60 million in cap space. If hired, Udoka will whip them into shape. If these guys aren’t defending, if they’re taking early clock isolation shots, he’s going to shred them. Some of them will thrive. They just might not all survive.

Simply chucking up shots, or not playing defense will no longer be tolerated. Udoka is known to make players accountable. In his one season at the helm of the Celtics, when things were a bit wonky early on, he forced stars Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart to work out their differences and get on the same page. It resulted in a run to the NBA Finals. 

But Udoka's time in Boston came to an abrupt and shocking end after that season, as he was suspended for a full year for violating team policies including an inappropriate relationship with a female staffer. 

Per Adrian Wojnarowski, the Rockets made themselves well-versed on those behind-the-scenes machinations before making the hire. 

It should be an interesting offseason in Houston going forward, as the team also has about $60M in cap space to play with, and a certain former 9-time Rockets All-Star is said to be interested in a return. 

 Photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports