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Ime Udoka: “Alperen Sengun is like a mini Jokic”

Appointed coach of the Rockets, Ime Udoka will discover another facet of his profession. A year ago, he led the Celtics to the NBA Finals with a roster made up of numerous All-Stars and the best defenseman of the year. At the start of the school year, he will take the reins of the Rockets, who have just finished last in the regular season! In his workforce, mainly kids, but he assures us that there is talent.

“I knew Kevin [Porter Jr.] and Jalen [Green] for having played against them twice, but they have progressed on their own”, explains Udoka. “Then looking at the list of players, I don’t have to learn too much from Tari [Eason]Jabari [Smith Jr.]Jae’Sean [Tate] and KJ [Martin]. There is a lot of talent. Alperen Sengun is like a mini Jokic. » A comparison already made by Porter Jr who calls him “Baby Joker“.

Frankness, toughness and… humor

About the interior sector, he indicated that he wanted to recruit a pivot different from Alperen Sengun, and we can therefore expect the franchise to position itself on a rather defensive interior. But… everything will also depend on the Draft since it is hard to imagine the Rockets recruiting a pivot if they are lucky enough to select Victor Wembanyama.

During his press conference, Udoka warned that “youth is no excuse”, and that he would behave with his young people as he did in Boston. “Personally, I am very frank, honest and direct to a certain extent” he explains. “I think the players respect honesty and openness. I am someone very accessible to players. That’s what I try to do in my relationships. I’m going to train them hard, right, and I think a lot of players respect that. »

A hard and firm coach, but who also has a sense of humor. During his press conference, only one player was there, and it was Kevin Porter Jr. The leader of Houston was even in the first row! “He’s a smart boy, he’s already trying to get playing time,” Udoka told him.

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