The disgraced professional basketball coach is working his way back into the spotlight following his scandalous affair in 2022. The Portland native was suspended and dismissed as head coach of the Boston Celtics over an inappropriate relationship with a female staffer.
After falling off the grid for months while his ex-fiancee publicly addressed the end of their 13-year relationship, the 45-year-old recently made an unexpected comeback. Full of remorse, the former NBA got candid about the shameful end of his career as a Celtics coach.
Ime Udoka Laments His Past Actions While Claiming To Turn A New Leaf
Months after his workplace affair destroyed the “You People” actress’s blissful home, Udoka opened up about the scandal for the first time in public. The father-of-one discussed the matter following the revival of his coaching gig.
In a recent press conference hosted by the Houston Rockets, the basketball team introduced the Portland native as their new head coach. While speaking to the media about his latest career move, the former athlete was asked about his rocky separation from the Celtics.
Finally ready to address his poor choices, the 45-year-old acknowledged his guilt: “I released a statement months ago when everything happened and apologized to a lot of people for the tough position I put them in.”
Noting that he felt “much more remorse even now towards” those affected by his affair with the female staffer, the Jason Collier Sportsmanship Award winner declared that he had become a better version of himself.
“I spent this last offseason working on myself in many different ways, improving in areas, and it gave me a chance to sit back, reflect and grow,” Udoka revealed. “And that’ll make me a better coach and leader overall.”
Although he never mentioned Long’s name, the former Brooklyn Nets assistant coach stated that his time off helped him understand the consequences of his shameful actions and how they affected those around him. In the father-of-one’s words:
“Just having that time off and really a full understanding of how many people you impact by a poor decision where you start with the ownership and accountability.”
The “Hav Plenty” actress’s ex-fiancé announced his plans to take responsibility for his actions, stating that he always preached to his players to do the same. Udoka did not seem to be spouting empty promises, as he admitted to seeking help during his off-season.
The Portland native explained that he took “leadership and sensitivity training” to better himself while attending counseling sessions with his son. The father, who shares 11-year-old Kez with Long, stated that he attended therapy with the preteen “to help him improve the situation” he put him in.
“You can grow from adversity, and I think I’ve done that this year if you spend it in the right direction or take the right steps,” the new Rockets coach claimed. Udoka also insisted that the scandal had been resolved but refused to share additional details.
Ime Udoka’s Coaching Gig Came Months After Nia Long Revealed A New Love Interest
The announcement of Udoka’s new coaching gig with the Rockets team initially came via Twitter. ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski shared the news on the social media platform through a message that read, “ESPN Sources: Ime Udoka has agreed to a deal to become the next Houston Rockets coach.”
Following the media personality’s tweet, several fans were displeased about the 45-year-old’s return to the sports industry. “Keep your wives at home” and “Women in Houston lock your doors” jokes flooded the platform. However, a few noted that the Portland native’s gifts as a coach were exceptional.
Udoka was chosen to replace the former Rockets head coach, Stephen Silas, whose overall record with the team over the last three seasons was 59-177. The Nigerian-born coach returned months after his ex-fiancée made headlines for having a new love interest.
During an appearance on the “Drew Barrymore Show,” the Hollywood sensation raved about enjoying her status as a single woman. Despite loving the freedom, the 52-year-old confessed she had her eye on a potential lover.
“I have my eye on one person,” Long revealed. “I’m not saying. I’m never telling.” True to her word, the TV personality did not share details about the mystery man, claiming she was not ready to date.
“I’m still processing,” the NAACP Image Award winner admitted. “I feel very free. I feel liberated. I feel like a whole weight was lifted off of me.”