The Boston Celtics have suspended coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season, the crew introduced Thursday evening.
The Celtics cited violations of the crew’s insurance policies of their announcement. Sources beforehand informed ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Udoka had an in depth relationship with a feminine member of the franchise’s employees.
The suspension is efficient instantly, and a choice about Udoka’s future with the group will likely be made later, the crew mentioned.
“I need to apologize to our gamers, followers, the complete Celtics group and my household for disappointing them,” Udoka mentioned in a press release to ESPN’s Malika Andrews. “I’m sorry to place the crew on this troublesome state of affairs, and I settle for the crew’s determination. Out of respect for everybody concerned, I can’t remark additional.”
The season-long suspension is basically unprecedented for the present head coach within the NBA.
The Celtics have named assistant coach Joe Mazulla as interim head coach, sources informed Wojnarowski. Udoka’s high assistant coach, Will Hardy, left the crew in June to educate the Utah Jazz.
Udoka joined the Celtics final summer season after spending time as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets following his NBA enjoying profession.
He changed Brad Stevens as coach. Stevens went on to turn into president of Boston’s basketball operations when his predecessor in that job, Danny Enge, determined to depart the group.
In his first season as coach, Udoka noticed a outstanding turnaround at Boston, main the Celtics to shut the season with a 28–7 report of their remaining 35 video games after being lowered to .500 in late January. noticed. He then had a powerful run by the Jap Convention playoffs, advancing to the NBA Finals for the primary time in 12 years.
Udoka is the fifth coach to achieve the NBA Finals in his first season as head coach prior to now 25 years and the primary since Nick Nurse in 2019.
Based on ESPN Stats & Info, he turned the primary rookie coach to win as many Recreation 7s in his first post-season. Udoka led Boston to victory over the Milwaukee Bucks within the Jap Convention semifinals and the Miami Warmth in seven video games to the East Finals, earlier than the Celtics misplaced to the Golden State Warriors within the NBA Finals in six video games.
ESPN’s Tim Bontemps contributed to this report.