Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka is facing a “significant” suspension for violating team rules, according to multiple reports.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that Udoka is facing disciplinary action for “his role in a consensual and intimate relationship with a woman who is on franchise staff,” according to sources. Those sources tell the ESPN reporter that the relationship is a violation of team guidelines and that internal discussions have suggested suspensions that could last as long as the Celtics’ entire 2022-23 season. ESPN’s sources suggest that Udoka’s job is not in jeopardy.
News of 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 be made on Thursday.
Udoka was hired by the Celtics in the summer of 2021 to replace Brad Stevens, who himself replaced Danny Ainge in the Celtics front office. Udoka’s top assistant, Will Hardy, recently left to coach the Utah Jazz. Wojnarowski reports that Celtics assistant Joe Mazzulla would be strongly 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 a career as an NBA player. He is engaged to actress Nia Long and the couple have an 11-year-old son.
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