Ime Udoka condemned for attack on LeBron James

Ime Udoka condemned for attack on LeBron James

Everyone who works for the NBA or one of its franchises should always behave professionally. That being said, the head coach is supposed to be the person in charge of the team. A head coach is like the general manager of a store. That person may not own the place, but the person does need to be its dignified captain.

Ime Udoka was not that for the Houston Rockets when he was ejected during a Saturday night loss to the Los Angeles Lakers following an altercation with LeBron James.

Udoka spoke to James in a way that would start a fight in a pickup game. His words are now public because a lip reader got a hold of some audio from the game. James complained about a call — shocking, I know — and Udoka yelled out “Stop playing like bitches.”

Again, yelling out something like that at LA Fitness would get somebody pressed. In an NBA game, James knows better than to go after an opposing coach. Instead, he casually walked over to Udoka and told him not to speak like that anymore. The head coach of the Rockets then chose to operate like an instigator at a pickup game, asking James what he was going to do about it.

Udoka also allegedly called James, what the lip reader interpreted as, a “soft-ass boy.” A closer look at Udoka’s face at the moment, is not discernable what he said after “soft,” so I’ll take @legendz_NBA’s word for it. Whatever Udoka said, the ref heard it and immediately issued a technical foul to both Udoka and James. That was Udoka’s second of the game and he was ejected.

After the game, Udoka was unapologetic about the confrontation during his postgame press conference. He was asked to clarify who his comments were directed at and he said, “The player.” Also, when assessing his team’s performance he said, “To kind of get punked by a team that’s not known for physicality or punking people is not a good sign.”

His opinion of the Lakers is clear. In him being so clear, it is reasonable to assume he feels that way about their star players, one of whom is James. Udoka can harbor whatever opinion he wants about other people, but using derogatory language towards an opposing player as the head coach of a basketball team is highly unbecoming behavior.