Celtics To Announce Coach Ime Udoka's Suspension: Report

By Jason Hall

September 22, 2022

2022 NBA Finals - Game Three
Photo: Getty Images

The Boston Celtics are expected to suspend head coach Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-23 season for his role in a consencual relationship with a female staff member, which was a "violation of organizational guidelines", ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports.

Assistant coach Joe Mazzulla is expected to take over as the Celtics' interim coach in Udoka's absence.

Boston is expected to formally announce its decision on Thursday (September 22), according to Wojnarowski.

On Wednesday (September 21) night, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Udoka was reportedly "facing possible disciplinary action," which includes "a significant suspension" in relation to what was, at the time, described as "an unspecified violation of organizational guidelines," according to sources.

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.https://twitter.com/ShamsCharania/status/1572810579105939457

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," though Udoka was believed to possibly be kept "out for the entirety of the 2022-23 season, according to Wojnarowski.

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.

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