Boston Celtics’ head coach, Ime Udoka, will no longer be on the sidelines for the Celtics’ title chase in the 2022-23 season, and his future with the organization might be in jeopardy.
According to the Washington Post, the Celtics announced Thursday (Sept 22) that Udoka, who led the basketball team to the NBA finals in his first season as head coach, is suspended for the entire 2022-23 season over what has been termed as ‘violation of team policies.’
Ime Udoka was involved in an ‘improper, but consensual’ intimate relationship with a female team staff member, several people with knowledge of the relationship confirmed, and the Celtics said a decision about Udoka’s future with the franchise will be ‘made at a later date.’
For now, the assistant coach Joe Mazulla will reportedly serve as the interim coach, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported. The Celtics’ press release announcing the suspension didn’t offer insight into who will take over the team.
The Celtics have made assistant coach Joe Mazzulla the interim head coach, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 23, 2022
Udoka also released a personal statement in the wake of the Celtic’s announcement:
“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down. I am sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I will have no further comment.”
The punishment comes days before the Celtics open training camp and just a few weeks before their regular season opener against the Philadelphia 76ers on Oct 18.
According to Turner Sports’ Chris Haynes, Ime Udoka doesn’t plan to resign. That said, there might be no guarantee that he’ll be back with the organization after the 2022-23 season.
Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka will not be resigning from his position as he awaits sanction from the organization, league sources tell @NBAonTNT.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) September 22, 2022
As for the state of his relationship with Nia Long, who’s been his fiancé for some time now, no comment has been made yet – though Nia’s massive fandom claim this might be the last straw that broke the camel’s back.
We’ll just have to wait to see what happens next.