The Boston Celtics are looking to discipline coach Ime Udoka. It could be with a suspension, as a result of an unprofessional relationship with a teammate of the team two sources with experience in the area informed The Associated Press on Thursday.
The participants spoke on the an anonymity basis because they are the current Eastern Conference champions have not divulged any information publicly. The exact nature of the punishment, as well as the time frame of the suspension, is not yet decided, but ESPN said that the suspension may be announced as early as Thursday.
ESPN first revealed on Wednesday night that a suspension might be being considered for a violation of the league’s code of conduct. They also reported it was reported that Udoka could be “likely facing a suspension for the entire 2022-23 season”. The network as well as the Athletic report later revealed that the Celtics are investigating the possibility that Udoka had an unprofessional relationship with a person within the team. The Celtics have been handling the issue internally, and Udoka is not under criticism from the league as per the ESPN report.
The loss of Udoka is a huge loss for the team which is widely regarded among the favorite teams to compete in the race for the NBA crown this season, after coming just two games away from winning the title last season during his rookie year.
The Celtics begin training camp on Tuesday. If Udoka isn’t allowed to manage the team his role, it will likely be handed over onto one or his associates. One possible potential candidate Joe Mazzulla, interviewed for the Utah Jazz coaching job this summer. However, the job was ultimately awarded to Will Hardy – who was Udoka’s assistant in Boston the previous season. Udoka’s assistant coaches include Damon Stoudemire, Ben Sullivan, Aaron Miles and Tony Dobbins.
The ESPN report stated that Mazzulla will fill in the role of interim in the absence of Udoka.
Udoka enjoyed a fantastic debut season as the head coach for the Celtics and finished the regular season with a record of 51-31, going 26-6 over the last 32 games. He led Boston over Brooklyn, Milwaukee and Miami in winning the NBA finals. The Celtics were beaten in the title game against their rivals the Golden State Warriors in six games.
Udoka has previously worked as an assistant coach with The San Antonio Spurs (2012-19) as well as the Philly The 76ers (2019-20) as well as the Nets (2020-21) after seven years of playing in the NBA.