Celtics Announce Decision On Ime Udoka's Status
By Jason Hall
September 23, 2022
The Boston Celtics have officially suspended head coach Ime Udoka for the entirety of the upcoming 2022-23 NBA season "for violations of team policies."
"A decision about his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date," the team said in a news release. "The suspension takes effect immediately."
Assistant coach Joe Mazzulla is reportedly expected to take over in Udoka's absence, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, who initially reported that Udoka was "facing possible disciplinary action," which included "a significant suspension" in relation to what was, at the time, described as "an unspecified violation of organizational guidelines," on Wednesday (September 21) night.
Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka is likely facing a suspension for the entire 2022-2023 season for his role in a consensual relationship with a female staff member, sources tell ESPN. A formal announcement is expected as soon as today.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 22, 2022
The Athletic's Shams Charania later reported that Udoka "had an improper intimate and consensual relationship with a female member of the team staff," which led to the franchise looking into potential disciplinary action.
The Celtics were reportedly discussing "a final determination" just days ahead of training camp, but the coach's "job isn't believed to be in jeopardy," Wojnarowski said at the time of the initial report.
Udoka was hired as the Celtics' head coach last offseason, replacing Brad Stevens, who was promoted to president of basketball operations following longtime team team president Danny Ainge's retirement.
Boston went 51-31 during the 2021-22 regular season and defeated the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat to win the Eastern Conference title before being eliminated by the Golden State Warriors in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
Udoka, a former NBA player, had previously worked as an assistant with the Nets prior to the 2021-22 season, as well as the Philadelphia 76ers in 2019-20 and the San Antonio Spurs from 2012-19.
The Celtics coach has been in a relationship with actress Nia Long since 2010 and the couple became engaged in 2015.