Boston Celtics Head coach Ime Udoka has been suspended from The Athletic for the entire 2022-23 season, according to Shams Charania.
Udoka’s injury, according to The Athletichad an “improper and consensual relationship” with a Celtics employee.
Udoka issued a brief statement following the suspension.
“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization and my family for letting them down. I’m sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation and I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I will not comment further.”
Boston also released a statement regarding the suspension, which said in part that “a decision regarding his future with the Celtics after 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 – is not in danger of losing his job, but a formal announcement on the length of the suspension is expected as early as Thursday. If Udoka isn’t on Boston’s bench early in the season, assistant coach Joe Mazzulla is reportedly a front-runner to temporarily replace him.
This isn’t the first time an NBA team has had a reported affair scandal that led to job insecurity. Exactly one year to the day, the Minnesota Timberwolves separated from their president of basketball operations, Gersson Rosas, due in part to a “consensual and intimate relationship” he had been with a member of the organization while he was married. Rosas joined the team in 2019.
Udoka, 45, has been engaged to actress Nia Long since 2015.
The Celtics will open their preseason on October 2 against the Charlotte Hornets. Their regular season opener is on October 18 against the Philadelphia 76ers.
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