Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka suspended for 2022-23 season
Ime Udoka, head coach of the Boston Celtics NBA team, has been suspended for the entire 2022-23 season after being found guilty of acting in violation of team policies regarding an inappropriate relationship with a female member of the organization.
The team added in a statement that a decision will be made on his long-term future at a later date.
According to a report by The Athletic, team officials first learned of the relationship in July but were convinced, following discussions with both parties, that it was consensual.
However, it is understood the woman has since made a series of allegations against Udoka – believed to involve “spam comments– which prompted the Celtics hierarchy to launch an internal investigation, which ended with their decision to suspend him for the upcoming season which begins in October.
“I want to apologize to our players, our fans, the entire Celtics organization and my family for letting them down.“Udoka said in a statement after his suspension was confirmed by team officials.
“I’m sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I have no further comment..”
Udoka, who is 45 and has a long-term relationship with actor Nia Long, with whom he has one child, guided the Celtics to the NBA Finals last season, where they lost to Golden State. Warriors.
News of Udoka’s suspension was met with accusations of racism from American sports analyst Stephen A. Smith, who said he was treated more harshly because of his ethnicity.
“I have news for you America: there are a lot of white people in professional sports doing their thing. And I say it ain’t free“Smith said.
Stephen A Smith on the situation of Ime Udoka "there’s a lot of white people doing their thing, i don’t see any info about them" pic.twitter.com/xtGDudfPPh
— Gifdsports (@gifdsports) September 22, 2022
“I don’t see any information about them. Why are we talking about this now? We have to talk about it because it’s the news. It’s none of our business, unless you fire it.
“But if you keep it, that’s none of our business. It should never have been released by the Celtics organization – and don’t tell me you didn’t! Because you absolutely did – because the reporters did.
“Thus, it emanated from Boston. Someone isn’t in Los Angeles or Utah or something leaking this Boston Celtics thing. It’s on all of you. He shouldn’t have been here. That’s what I have to say.”
READ MORE: ‘I messed up’: ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith ‘sorry’ after slamming baseball star Shohei Ohtani for inability to speak English
Smith added, however, that Udoka has no one to blame but himself.
“It’s a stupid, stupid situation for him to find himself in“Smith said.”He has no excuse for him to end up in this position.”
Promising coach Joe Mazzulla, 34, has been named Udoka’s temporary successor.