According to reports from Wednesday night, the Boston Celtics will discipline head coach Ime Udoka for his involvement in a consensual intimate relationship with a woman on the franchise’s staff, which is expected to result in a hefty suspension.
A decision on the length of the suspension for the relationship, which was deemed a violation of the organization’s norms, is likely as early as Thursday, according to sources. The fate of Udoka for the upcoming 2022–23 season has been discussed internally, but no decision has been reached as of yet, according to sources.
According to reliable sources, Udoka’s employment is safe for the time being. Top assistant coach Will Hardy left Udoka to become coach of the Utah Jazz, and another Jazz finalist, Celtics assistant Joe Mazzulla, is likely to be seriously considered for an interim post.
ESPN Sources: Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka is facing possible disciplinary action – including a significant suspension – for an unspecified violation of organizational guidelines. Discussions are ongoing within the Celtics on a final determination. pic.twitter.com/1QZb0k326F
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 22, 2022
In the years after his NBA playing career, Udoka worked as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs, the Philadelphia 76ers, and the Brooklyn Nets until signing on with the Celtics last summer. Former coach Brad Stevens was replaced by Udoka. With Danny Ainge’s departure, Stevens was promoted to president of basketball operations for the Boston Celtics.
As Boston’s head coach for the first time, Udoka oversaw the team’s incredible turnaround this past season. The Celtics started the year with a sub.500 record but finished the year with a 28-7 record, a remarkable improvement. Following that, they led the Eastern Conference to its first NBA Finals appearance in 12 years. To date, Udoka is the only head coach to reach the NBA Finals in his first season since Nick Nurse in 2019.
In addition, he made history as the only first-year head coach in playoff history to win multiple Game 7s. This is based on data compiled from Stats & Information. When Udoka was the team’s leader, the Celtics dispatched the Milwaukee Bucks in six games in the conference semifinals and the Miami Heat in seven games in the East finals. However, Udoka’s squad eventually fell to the Golden State Warriors in six games in the NBA Finals.