The Boston Celtics have announced Ime Udoka is no longer their employee in any capacity.
Instead, they have replaced him with Joe Mazzulla, whom they’ve upgraded from interim coach to permanent head coach.
What Did Ime Udoka Do?
Ime Udoka was a respected assistant for almost ten years.
The Boston Celtics hired him as their head coach in June 2021, and he led the team to the NBA finals and an outstanding 51-31 record.
However, 15 months later, they suspended Udoka for violating their team policy.
The Celtics never revealed what Udoka did, but rumors were rife on social media, and the internet soon found out.
It turned out that the head coach had an affair with a female staffer (which counts as a violation), and he later made inappropriate comments that she reported (another violation).
Enter Joe Mazzulla
Ime Udoka’s replacement was a college head coach for eight years.
In 2019, the Boston Celtics acknowledged Mazzulla’s skills and hired him as an assistant coach.
After Ime Udoka’s scandal, the team dropped him and hired Mazzulla as interim coach–an offer they’ve now made permanent.
According to the Celtics’ head of basketball operations, Brad Stevens, they were proud to upgrade Mazzulla.
“Mazzulla replaces Ime Udoka.” pic.twitter.com/PJihH8EV5B
— Chris Forsberg (@ChrisForsberg_) February 16, 2023
He acknowledged Mazzulla’s leadership qualities and praised how the coach can galvanize a room around a particular goal.
Stevens was thankful for the work Mazzulla had already done for the team and was excited that the team would move forward under his leadership.
Mazzulla has signed a multi-year deal, though they didn’t reveal the particular terms.
The new coach also knows his stuff–the Boston Celtics lead the Eastern Conference with an unmatched record of 42-17.
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The team does not miss Ime Udoka, though.
The former coach can now stew in the consequences of his affair–his career is over, and he’s lost his family’s trust.
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