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#pounditTuesday, May 28, 2024

Ime Udoka had savage message for Jabari Smith Jr. after his fight with Kris Dunn

Ime Udoka looks over

Apr 25, 2022; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka coaches against the Brooklyn Nets during the second quarter of game four of the first round of the 2022 NBA playoffs at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The NBA on Sunday suspended Houston Rockets big man Jabari Smith Jr. over an on-court altercation. His head coach Ime Udoka wished Smith at least got his money’s worth during the incident.

Smith was involved in a fight with Utah Jazz guard Kris Dunn during the Rockets’ 147-119 win Saturday at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

Both Smith and Dunn threw punches, but neither connected on any attempted blows (video here).

Udoka was asked about the altercation prior to Houston’s Monday matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Rockets coach stated that Smith should’ve at least landed a punch if he was going to try to deliver a blow at all.

“If a guy grabs you, you’re gonna react, but the throwing punches is the thing, so he’ll learn from that. If you’re not gonna land the punch you might as well not throw it,” Udoka said of Smith Jr.’s altercation with Dunn.

Udoka was probably being at least a little tongue-in-cheek with his take. Smith would have likely received an even more severe punishment from the league had he successfully punched Dunn.

But Udoka is also a known proponent of tough love with his players. His comments on Smith’s fight fall right in line with the coach’s reputation.

After all, we’re talking about the same Rockets coach who went viral this season for getting into it with LeBron James during a game. The man isn’t afraid of the smoke.

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