The Boston Celtics have suspended head coach Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-23 season for “team policy violations.” The suspension is immediate, the team said when it announced the move Thursday night.
The team did not provide details of any allegations against Udoka or its findings. But rumors was whirlwind about Udoka’s future after reports emerged that he was involved in “an inappropriate intimate and consensual relationship with a female member of the team staff,” as The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported.
The news of the suspension came just 10 days before the Celtics open their preseason in early October. It derails Udoka’s attempt to repeat his stellar first year as Boston’s head coach when he led the team to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010.
“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization and my family for disappointing,” Udoka said in a statement shared by Malika Andrews of ESPN. “I am sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation and I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I will not comment further.”
It is uncertain whether Udoka will be able to resume coaching the Celtics after the suspension. The organization says it will make a decision “at a later date”.
Udoka, 45, became the Celtics coach in the summer of 2021, having spent much of the previous decade as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs and two other NBA teams.