The Boston Celtics have officially announced Ime Udoka’s suspension for the 2022-23 season.
All the organization shared is that Udoka will be sidelined for “violations of teams team policies.” The door also seemingly remains open for Udoka to be terminated, as they stated that a decision on his future “will be made at a later date.”
Udoka went on to follow the announcement with a brief statement, which Malika Andrews shared and you can read below:
“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.”
Again, details about the situation remain unclear. But what is more than clear now is that Udoka will not coach for the reigning Eastern Conference champions this season.
You can read our original story on Ime Udoka’s suspension below.
One season after a run to the NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics will likely be without their head coach.
According to multiple reports, Ime Udoka is facing a season-long suspension due to his role in a consensual relationship with a female staff member. Assistant coach Joe Mazzulla is expected to take over on an interim basis, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Athletic’s Shams Charania described the relationship as “improper” and one that violated the franchise’s code of conduct. For now, that’s all we really know about this story, and it’s unclear whether or not the Celtics will be more forthcoming whenever they share the official word.
For a team that was also in the thick of some surprising Kevin Durant-Jaylen Brown trade rumors earlier this summer, this feels like yet another piece of news that could stir up awkwardness inside the locker room. Udoka completely turned around an otherwise inconsistent team in the middle of last season, so it’s hard not to wonder what impact the absence of his leadership could have. Not to mention, once he returns, there is no telling what his standing will be among the players and those inside the organization. One year is a long time to be away, and we have no clear idea how this incident could damage his reputation.
Anyway, this is obviously huge news for a team that some may have considered the favorites in the East heading into October, so we’ll keep you updated.