Ime Udoka says the magic word to LeBron James, draws tirade and ejection

Houston Rockets head coach Ime Udoka had something to say to LeBron during the Rockets-Lakers game on Saturday.

Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday night, the Houston Rockets were defeated by the Los Angeles Lakers 107-97. The Lakers are now up 2-1 in their regular season series with the Rockets. Thankfully the two teams will meet again come late January because if their last meeting is any indicator, their next matchup should be one to look forward to.

The Houston Rockets have yet to win a game on the road this season. Perhaps this could explain Udoka's frustration and/or the antics that took place. Maybe it's because, at 46 years old, Ime Udoka had to watch a 38-year-old LeBron James dismantle his Rockets, who have an average age of 26.9. It feels important to note that heading into the fourth quarter, Houston only trailed 86-72. However, towards the end of the game, Houston was still trailing and Ime Udoka was clearly not happy with what he saw.

Early in the fourth quarter, following a foul, Ime Udoka and LeBron James had an animated discussion. During that conversation, Ime had some choice words for LeBron. Thankfully, we live in a time where that full audio can be transcribed, edited, and made available online.

Per BradeauxNBA on Twitter:

According to the clip, Udoka tells the Lakers, "Stop crying like b*****s man." (Look at Tari Eason's grin when he hears his head coach talking smack) LeBron approaches Ime and responds, 'We're all grown men. Nah. That b**** word ain't cool. Don't use it so loosely." So then, Udoka asks LeBron."What are you going to do about what I said? Walking over here like you're going to do something? Soft a** boy." The referee, who was probably just eavesdropping like everyone else in the stadium, blew his whistle at that point. After issuing a double tech, Udoka was thrown out.

When LeBron was asked what Ime and him were talking about during their heated exchange, James told the Athletic's Jovan Buha, "Thanksgiving. How much we enjoyed Thanksgiving."

After the game, Ime Udoka said, "To kind of get punked by a team that's not known for physicality or punking people is not a good sign." With three straight losses, Houston has dropped to 8-9 on the season. The Lakers, on the other hand, are now 12-9 and hope to build on this win. 

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