Ime Udoka, Boston Celtics Coach, Suspended for 2022-23 Season & More News

 

The Boston Celtics on Thursday suspended Coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season for unspecified “violations of team policies,” simply months after he led the workforce to the N.B.A. finals in his first yr within the position.

An individual briefed on the matter who was not licensed to talk publicly about it mentioned Udoka had an inappropriate relationship with a feminine workforce worker that was thought-about a violation of the workforce’s organizational pointers.

The Celtics haven’t mentioned who would fill Udoka’s put up throughout his suspension. In a assertion asserting the punishment, the workforce mentioned {that a} choice about Udoka’s future in Boston could be “made at a later date.” Wyc Grousbeck, the Celtics’ majority proprietor, declined to remark. A Celtics spokesperson additionally declined to remark.

Udoka spent 9 seasons as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Nets earlier than the Celtics employed him to his first head teaching position in June 2021. The Celtics misplaced to Golden State within the N.B.A. finals this June.

News of a doable suspension for Udoka was first reported late Wednesday. The stories touched off a firestorm, with many individuals on social media posting the names and photos of ladies who work for the Celtics and speculating whether or not they had been concerned within the state of affairs.

In a assertion to ESPN, Udoka mentioned he accepted the workforce’s choice. “I want to apologize to our players, fans, the Celtics organization and my family for letting them down. I am sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation.”

He mentioned he would haven’t any additional remark.

Udoka’s suspension comes throughout a difficult month for the N.B.A.

On Tuesday, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards was fined $40,000 for making homophobic remarks in a put up on Instagram, the place he has greater than 1 million followers.

Last week, the N.B.A. mentioned an investigation had unearthed a yearslong sample of inappropriate conduct by Robert Sarver, the bulk proprietor of the Phoenix Suns and the W.N.B.A.’s Phoenix Mercury. The investigation’s report mentioned Sarver had used racial slurs and handled feminine workers unfairly, amongst different findings, over greater than a decade. N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver fined Sarver $10 million — the utmost permitted — and suspended him for a yr. But amid backlash in regards to the perceived leniency of the punishment, Sarver introduced Wednesday that he deliberate to promote each groups.

The Suns and the Celtics are scheduled to host media days for the 2022-23 season Monday.

Udoka, who’s from Portland, Ore., had a peripatetic profession as a basketball participant, bouncing round abroad earlier than he latched on with the Portland Trail Blazers for the 2006-7 season as their beginning small ahead. Over the subsequent 4 seasons he performed with San Antonio and the Sacramento Kings.

Last summer season, he was a part of a wave of Black coaches employed to move teaching roles, together with a number of who, like him, had been assistants for a few years. The N.B.A. has lengthy been criticized for having principally white head coaches in a league with principally Black gamers.

In mid-January, Boston had a 21-22 report and was seemingly certain for an underwhelming season. But the Celtics received 28 of their closing 35 video games to shut out the common season and earn the No. 2 seed within the Eastern Conference. They swept the Nets within the first spherical of the playoffs, then eradicated the Milwaukee Bucks, who had been the defending champions. In the Eastern Conference finals, Boston beat the Miami Heat.

The journey to the N.B.A. finals was Boston’s first look since 2010. Udoka got here in fourth in voting for the Coach of the Year Award. Will Hardy, who was Udoka’s prime assistant final season, was not too long ago employed because the Utah Jazz’s new coach.

Tania Ganguli contributed reporting.

 

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