The Boston Celtics have suspended Ime Udoka for a year for violating team policies with a decision on his future “to be made later” after reports he had an affair with a female executive.
- In his statement, Udoka apologized “for putting the team in this difficult situation” after being banned for an entire season
- Assistant coach Joe Mazzulla will serve as interim coach for this season
- Multiple reports say that Udoka has considered quitting, but has yet to do so
Celtics coach Ime Udoka issued a statement after being suspended from the team for the entire 2022-23 NBA season. Reports say he had a consensual affair with a female team member.
“I want to apologize to our players, our fans, the entire Celtics organization and my family for letting them down,” Udoka’s statement said.
“I am sorry to have put the team in this difficult situation and I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for all involved, I will have no further comment.’
A statement released by the Celtics confirmed reports that the suspension will last the entire NBA calendar.
Celtics coach Ime Udoka suspended for season for violation of team policy
In his place, assistant Joe Mazzulla (L) will become the interim coach after another assistant coach Will Hardy (R), left Boston to become head of the Utah Jazz.
“The Boston Celtics announced today that the team has suspended head coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season for violations of team policies. A decision on his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made later. The suspension takes effect immediately.’
In his place, assistant coach Joe Mazzulla will serve as interim coach for the remainder of the season.
Reports emerged last night that Udoka would face a “significant suspension” for an unnamed breach of team policies. Rumors then circulated that it was due to a relationship with a member of the Celtics staff.
Multiple reports say that Udoka has considered stepping down as coach of the Celtics, but so far he hasn’t.
Udoka has been engaged for years to actress Nia Long, who gave birth to the couple’s son in 2011. However, Long and Udoka were “believed to have separated prior to the current issue,” according to Brandon Robinson of Bally Sports.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who first reported the impending suspension, writes that Udoka’s job is not in jeopardy. However, the language in the Celtics’ statement suggests that walking away from the job is still a possibility.
Before going to Boston, Udoka won a ring as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs