Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka is facing a “significant” suspension for violating team rules, according to multiple reports.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports Udoka is facing disciplinary action for “his role in a consensual, intimate relationship with a woman who is a member of the franchise’s staff,” according to sources. Those sources tell an ESPN reporter that the relationship is a violation of team guidelines, and that internal discussions suggested a suspension that could last as long as the Celtics’ entire 2022-2023 season. ESPN sources indicate that Udoka’s job is not in jeopardy.
News about Udoka’s possible suspension was confirmed by The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach among others on Wednesday night. Himmelsbach suggests a final decision on Udoka could come down sometime Thursday.
The Celtics hired Udoka in the summer of 2021 to replace Brad Stevens, who replaced Danny Ainge in the Celtics front office as the team’s president of basketball operations. Udoka’s top assistant, Will Hardy, recently left to join Ainge and coach the Utah Jazz. Wojnarowski reports that Celtics assistant Joe Mazzulla would be heavily considered for an interim role if Udoka is suspended.
Udoka joined the Celtics after stints as an assistant coach with the Spurs, 76ers, and Nets, as well as an NBA playing career. He is engaged to the actress Nia Long, and the couple has an 11-year-old son.
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