The Boston Celtics on Thursday suspended head coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season for “violations of crew insurance policies,” in keeping with an announcement launched by the crew.
“A choice about his future with the Celtics past this season can be made at a later date,” the Celtics stated in an announcement. “The suspension takes impact instantly.”
Udoka had an consensual relationship with a feminine Celtics staffer, an individual aware of the scenario advised USA TODAY Sports activities. The individual requested anonymity as a result of they weren’t approved to talk about the delicate nature of the subject.
Assistant coach Joe Mazzulla will function interim coach, in keeping with ESPN.
“I need to apologize to our gamers, followers, your complete Celtics group, and my household for letting them down,” Udoka stated in an announcement launched to ESPN. “I’m sorry for placing the crew on this troublesome scenario, and I settle for the crew’s determination. Out of respect for everybody concerned, I’ll haven’t any additional remark.”
Udoka, 45, is taken into account one of many high up-and-coming coaches within the league. In his first season as coach of the Celtics in 2021-22, he led them to a 51-31 document and the Japanese Convention championship earlier than dropping to the Golden State Warriors within the Finals.
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The Celtics have been 23-24 on Jan. 21 and gained 28 of their last 35 video games, ending with the second seed within the East. Boston beat Milwaukee in seven video games within the second spherical and beat Miami in seven video games within the convention finals.
Udoka is credited with putting in a defense-first mentality and gamers purchased even into his fiery and demanding fashion. He isn’t afraid of yelling gamers throughout a recreation or criticizing their play to the media after video games.
He completed fourth in coach of the 12 months voting, and the Celtics are anticipated to contend for the convention championship once more this season with a core of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Good.
That is devastating for Boston as franchise and as a crew making an attempt to win a championship. The Celtics have thrived on continuity, and that has been disrupted. It’s been a long time for the reason that Celtics had an individual coach only one season. Satch Sanders took over for Tommy Heinsohn in 1977-78 however lasted simply 14 video games the next season.
After Tatum, Brown and Good, the Celtics have Al Horford, Grant Williams, Robert Williams, Derrick White and Payton Pritchard again from the convention championship crew and added Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari (injured) within the offseason.
However getting again to the Finals with an interim coach amid this scandal in a deeper Japanese Convention simply grew to become harder for the Celtics.