Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka has been suspended for the entirety of the 2022-23 season, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Udoka’s violation, according to The Athletic, was having an “improper and consensual relationship” with a female member of the Celtics’ staff.
Udoka released a brief statement after the suspension was handed down.
“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.”
Boston also released a statement regarding the suspension, saying in part that “a decision about his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date.”
For now, Celtics assistant Joe Mazzulla will serve as the franchise’s interim head coach, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Udoka — who led the Celtics to the NBA Finals in his first season as the team’s head coach — isn’t at risk of losing his job, but a formal announcement on the length of the suspension is expected as soon as Thursday. If Udoka isn’t on Boston’s bench to start the season, assistant coach Joe Mazzulla is reportedly a lead candidate to replace him on an interim basis.
This isn’t the first time an NBA team has had a reported affair scandal that led to job uncertainty. Almost a year ago to the day, the Minnesota Timberwolves parted ways with their president of basketball operations, Gersson Rosas, in part due to a “consensual and intimate relationship” he had with a member of the organization while being married. Rosas joined the team in 2019.
Udoka, 45, has been engaged to actress Nia Long since 2015.
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