The Celtics announced on Thursday the suspension of head coach Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-23 season, without guaranteeing his return to the role for the following season.
In a statement, the team said the reason for the suspension was Udoka’s “violations” – in the plural – of team policies.
“A decision about his future with the Celtics after this season will be made at a later date,” the statement said. “The suspension is effective immediately.”
Udoka released a statement to Malika Andrews of ESPN also.
“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization and my family for disappointing,” Udoka said. “I am sorry to have put the team in this difficult situation and I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I will not comment further.”
According to reports, Udoka was suspended for having an “intimate, consensual” relationship with a Celtics staffer. He is reportedly not planning to step down as he awaits the Celtics’ decision on his future status.
In his first season as Celtics coach, Udoka helped the team turn what started as a disappointing season into their most successful run since 2010. , where they were eliminated in six games by the Warriors.
Led by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Celtics – with a new bench infused with plenty of talent – were expected to be a favorite going into the season. However, Udoka’s suspension casts a shadow over what looked like a promising season a few weeks ago.
Assistant Joe Mazzulla will reportedly take over from Udoka as interim head coach. Mazulla has been with the organization since 2019.
The Celtics, who will host their Media Day on Monday, will open the season on October 18 against the 76ers.
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