Vitalis's funeral was on Oct. 26, between road games against the Clippers and the Warriors. Ime was prepared to miss the service, but McMillan and Pritchard let him know that he didn't have to. "You made the team," McMillan told him. "Go and be with your family. This game won't do anything to change how we feel about you."
In Ibo, one of Nigeria's languages, ime means patience. "That is something I have been thinking about a lot lately," says Udoka, who is playing for the veteran's minimum ($771,000). "It fits what I've had to go through. Not everyone makes it to the NBA coming out of college; not everyone gets to be a first-round pick. It's been a long journey. But a lot of guys have started a long career by getting an opportunity like this."