Ime Udoka, the Boston Celtics' coach who guided them to the NBA Finals last spring, has been placed on a one-year suspension, thereby barring him from the team for the entire 2022–23 season, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation.
Udoka allegedly "had an improper intimate and consensual relationship with a female member of the team staff." The Celtics learned of the relationship in July and were told to assume that it was consensual by both sides, according to Charania's story around 24 hours later. However, it's been reported that the woman recently accused Udoka of speaking to her inappropriately, which prompted internal reviews.
The team kept that information a secret, so the people spoke to The Associated Press under the condition of anonymity. The Celtics stated Udoka violated team policies in a statement released Thursday night following a full day of negotiations over the specifics of the punishment. They also left open the prospect that a longer separation may follow. Chris Haynes of Turner Sports reports that Udoka has no intention of leaving his position. However, Wojnarowski cautioned on Thursday that there is no assurance Udoka will rejoin the team beyond the 2022–2023 campaign.
In a statement, Udoka apologized “to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down.”
“I am sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team’s decision,” he said. “Out of respect for everyone involved, I will have no further comment.”
Udoka started his coaching career in 2012 as an assistant in Gregg Popovich’s staff at San Antonio Spurs, where he won his first championship in 2014. During the 2021 offseason, the Celtics' executive team underwent a significant shake-up that included Udoka. Boston won the Eastern Conference at the end of its first season under Udoka. The Celtics were 25-25 at the start of the season but went 26-6 in order to earn the No. 2 seed in the East playoffs. Boston defeated the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat in seven-game series after sweeping the Brooklyn Nets in the opening round. The Celtics led the Golden State Warriors 2-1 in the NBA Finals before losing three straight games to finish the campaign.
Mazzulla was an assistant for Boston's G League affiliate in Maine during the 2016-17 season. A group regarded as one of the NBA's top title contenders will be Mazzulla's club. Due to his two seasons leading Division II Fairmount State to a 43-17 record and an NCAA tournament berth in his second season, the 34-year-old already has head coaching experience.
Mazzulla also competed at the collegiate level for West Virginia from 2006 to 2011, when he scored 17 points in an upset victory over John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, and the Kentucky Wildcats in the Elite 사설토토 Eight to help the Mountaineers advance to the 2010 Final Four. The guard concluded his career with 700 points and 340 assists.