Last updated on Oct 18, 2022
By Donovan Gibbs, Staff Writer
Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka was suspended for the whole 2022-2023 season over violation of team rules. Udoka had an affair with the team travel planner, while simultaneously leading them to the second seed in the Eastern Conference and all the way to the NBA Finals, but lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games.
Udoka’s relationship with the staff member was made aware to some Boston staffers in July but wasn’t seen as an issue at the time due to the relationship being consensual.
“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization and my family for letting them down,” Udoka said in a statement. “I am sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I will have no further comment.”
Udoka has been in a relationship with Nia Long since 2010 and the two have a son together.
Players and fans have been stunned with the news surrounding this suspension. Star players like Jayson Tatum found out about the suspension when it was reported on social media. Jaylen Brown told reporters at Celtics Media Day there is going to be a lot more information to investigate.
“From what we know, it’s hard to make a decision based upon whether it’s consensual or not in the workplace or whatever’s going on,” Brown said. “Which we know has happened before in the workplace, but I guess there’s more to it possibly, which we don’t know.”
Freshman sports management major Dylan Wilson was shocked to hear the news.
“It’s the last thing you would’ve expected from this offseason,” Wilson said. “The Celtics coming into this year as a heavy favorite just to lose their head coach before the games even start. That’s just insane to think about honestly.”
The Celtics were seen as favorites to go back to the finals and seal the deal this time around at +600 odds(via DraftKings).
Freshman business management major Nic Young is still hopeful in championship aspirations for the Celtics this season.
“There’s still a chance. It’s lower now since the East is once again stacked and our head coach is gone, but a chance nonetheless,” Young said.
Ime Udoka’s future in the NBA is definitely in question. It seems that he doesn’t plan to resign with the Celtics after the suspension. The Celtics won’t stand in Udoka’s way of becoming a head coach somewhere else, and there are teams who have tried to get a full understanding of the situation before properly showing interest. Assistant coach Joe Mazulla was named interim head coach for the season by the Celtics organization.