Celtics coach Ime Udoka is reportedly suspended for an extended period – possibly the entire season – due to his role in a “intimate, consensualrelationship with female Celtics staff.
According to Chris Haynes from Yahoo! Sportshowever, Udoka does not plan to step away from his role as Celtics head coach pending a decision on the length of his suspension.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Celtics will replace Udoka on the sidelines with assistant coach Joe Mazzulla, who has been with the team since 2019. Mazzulla was a head coaching candidate with the Jazz this offseason, with the former Celtics assistant Will Hardy. . Hardy eventually landed the job.
Last year was Udoka’s first time with the Celtics. He replaced Brad Stevens, who stepped down after a disappointing 2020-21 campaign to become the team’s president of basketball operations, replacing Danny Ainge. The front office shake-up proved successful – the Celtics reached the NBA Finals as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown finally emerged from their Eastern Conference Finals rut on their third attempt . The Warriors eliminated the Celtics from the Finals in six games.
The Celtics had high expectations this year after Stevens strengthened the bench significantly in the offseason and built a team that looked set to challenge for a title.
In recent weeks, however, the Celtics’ best-laid plans have crumbled. One of the top signings, Danilo Gallinari tore his ACL while playing for the Italian national team and could miss the whole season. Robert Williams – who played a crucial role in last year’s race – will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his fragile left knee after tearing his meniscus in March.
Now the Celtics will face some practice drama with Media Day looming on Monday.
The Celtics open their season at home against the 76ers on October 18.
Sign up for Celtics updates🏀
Get the latest news and analysis delivered to your inbox during basketball season.