Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck mentioned the group’s resolution to droop Ime Udoka for the complete 2022-23 NBA season got here after an investigation by an unbiased legislation agency uncovered a number of violations of group insurance policies.
“I am concerned about the situation and its impact on everybody in the Celtics’ organization,” Grousbeck mentioned throughout a information convention Friday morning at the group’s apply facility to debate the resolution to droop Udoka
“I do hope this represents the beginning of a new chapter, and a chance to turn the page and move forward with things, to some extent, resolved.”
Both Grousbeck and Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens mentioned little about the specifics of the case concerned, or what insurance policies Udoka violated. Sources beforehand instructed ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Udoka had an intimate relationship with a feminine member of the franchise’s workers.
Grousbeck mentioned as soon as the group had been made conscious of a possible scenario in the group inside the previous few weeks, it employed the unbiased legislation agency to conduct an investigation — an investigation which he mentioned concluded on Wednesday.
It was at that time the group selected to droop Udoka for a full season, with Grousbeck saying it should finish on June 30, 2023 — the last day of the 2022-23 league yr. He additionally added it could include a “significant” monetary penalty, and that nobody in addition to Udoka inside the group was going to be disciplined as a result of the investigation.
Other than that, nonetheless, each Grousbeck and Stevens provided few specifics on what transpired and the way the resolution got here to be, nor would they talk about what it could take for Udoka to return to the group after his suspension ends, solely saying that it could be mentioned “at a later date,” as the group mentioned in its assertion Thursday night time.
Stevens additionally declined to reply when requested immediately whether or not Udoka would be capable to have contact with anybody inside the group throughout his suspension.
Grousbeck did, nonetheless, defend the resolution to droop Udoka for the complete season, saying on a number of events it was the “right” consequence.
“We’re not going to get into our deliberations,” Grousbeck mentioned. “This felt right, but there’s no clear guidelines for any of this. It’s conscience and gut feel.
“We collectively got here to this and obtained there however it was not clear what to do however it was clear one thing substantial wanted to be completed, and it was.”
For his part, Stevens began his remarks by getting emotional speaking to the impact that the prior couple of days had on the women throughout the organization.
“It’s been a tough time,” Stevens said. “The solely factor I wish to say is that I believed and Wyc talked about it already, we’ve loads of gifted ladies in our group and I believed yesterday was actually arduous on them.
“Nobody can control Twitter speculation and rampant bulls— but I do think we as an organization have a responsibility to support them now, because a lot of people were dragged unfairly into that.”
“I do hope this represents the beginning of a new chapter, and a chance to turn the page and move forward with things, to some extent, resolved.””
Wyc Grousbeck, Celtics owner
Stevens did additionally verify that assistant coach Joe Mazzulla can be taking up on an interim foundation. The 34-year-old is now tied with former Celtics assistant, and present Utah Jazz head coach, Will Hardy as the youngest coach in the league, and his solely head teaching expertise is 2 seasons at a Division II faculty, Fairmont State in West Virginia, earlier than being employed by Stevens as an assistant in 2019.
Still, Stevens believes Mazzulla is the proper individual to guide the group ahead.
“Joe’s gonna be in charge,” Stevens mentioned. “It’s not an easy timing for him or the rest of the staff. But he’s an exceptionally sharp and talented person. I believe strongly in him and his ability to lead people, his ability to galvanize a room and get behind him, and his ability to organize and understand all that comes with running a team during the season.”
Stevens was requested if he thought-about taking up, given he’d spent eight years teaching the Celtics — main them to the Eastern Conference finals on three totally different events — earlier than shifting upstairs to his present function to switch Danny Ainge final summer time, and hiring Udoka to switch him. Stevens immediately mentioned he didn’t — although Grousbeck chimed in that there was a “brief” dialog between the two about it.
“There’s a lot of factors in play of why I wouldn’t necessarily even want to do that,” Stevens mentioned. “But I do think that — and I’ve told Joe this — I’m going to be there for him without stepping on his toes as much as he needs.
“But he would not want a lot. I consider in that strongly.”
Stevens also addressed Mazzulla’s arrests while in college at West Virginia University — once, in 2008, for underage drinking and aggravated assault, a case in which he pled guilty and paid a fine, and then in 2009 for domestic battery after an incident at a Morgantown bar, a case that was settled out of court and didn’t go to trial.
When he hired Mazzulla as an assistant coach in 2019, Stevens said he “completely” vetted Mazzulla, and those incidents in particular, and said he believes Mazzulla has learned from them and that Stevens himself personally believes in Mazzulla’s character.
“I’ll let you know this: I consider strongly in Joe’s substantiveness as an individual,” Stevens said. “I consider strongly, and he’ll let you know, he is been very open with me about how these moments impacted him in each which approach and you may see it in the approach he carries himself. You may see that for a very long time. We’ve had years to get to know him.
“I believe strongly that that probably shaped him into who he is today in a really, really good way. But he’ll be the first to tell you, he’s 110% accountable for that, and I’ll be the first to tell you that I believe in him.”
Grousbeck mentioned that each he and Stevens have met with the gamers forward of coaching camp beginning subsequent week and mentioned he would characterize their emotions as “very concerned” about what has transpired.
“It’s not a welcome development,” Grousbeck mentioned.
“But they also, I felt, have energy and focus and commitment and drive to really accomplish great things hopefully this season. So that’s the commitment I’m feeling from the players and I bet, based on last year and based on everything we know about them, I think that we will be fulfilled.”
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