Celtics suspend coach Ime Udoka for entire 2022-23 NBA season

By | September 23, 2022

Ime Udoka coached the Boston Celtics to the NBA Finals in his first season on the job.  (Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Ime Udoka coached the Boston Celtics to the NBA Finals in his first season on the job. (Michael Reaves/Getty Pictures)

The Boston Celtics have suspended second-year head coach Ime Udoka for your entire 2022-23 NBA season for violating the staff’s code of conduct, the group introduced Thursday night time.

Assistant coach Joe Mazzulla will function the staff’s interim head coach in Udoka’s absence. according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. A choice concerning Udoka’s long-term future with the staff past the 2022-23 season, the Celtics mentioned, “will likely be made at a later date.” Udoka apologized in a imprecise assertion.

“I need to apologize to our gamers, our followers, your entire Celtics group and my household for letting them down,” Udoka mentioned. via ESPN’s Malika Andrews. “I am sorry for placing the staff on this troublesome state of affairs, and I settle for the staff’s choice. Out of respect for everybody concerned, I’ll haven’t any additional remark.”

Athletic’s Shams Charania reported in a single day Thursday, citing unnamed sources, that Udoka allegedly “had an inappropriate intimate and consensual relationship with a feminine staff workers member.”

Udoka led the Celtics to their first NBA Finals look since 2010 in his first season as head coach. Boston is the favourite to win the 2023 championship, in keeping with BetMGM. Udoka performed seven NBA seasons for 5 totally different groups earlier than becoming a member of the San Antonio Spurs as an assistant in 2012. The 45-year-old additionally frolicked as an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets earlier than the Celtics did not give him a late alternative. to steer a staff. He completed fourth within the Coach of the Yr vote final season.

Mazzulla was an assistant for G League affiliate Boston, Maine in the course of the 2016-17 season. He coached Fairmont State College in West Virginia on the Division II school degree for 2 seasons earlier than becoming a member of then-Celtics teaching workers Brad Stevens as an assistant in 2019. Stevens has moved into Boston’s entrance workplace in 2021, taking up the position vacated by the previous basketball president. operations Danny Ainge and in addition hires Udoka.

Mazzulla, 34, coached the Celtics’ 2021 Summer season League roster in Las Vegas for the championship recreation. He was interviewed for the top teaching job that Udoka held final 12 months. Over the summer season, Mazzulla additionally interviewed Ainge, now the Utah Jazz common supervisor, for the opening left by the departure of head coach Quin Snyder. The Jazz lastly employed Will Hardy, Udoka’s senior personnel assistant final season.

“I spoke to everybody within the group after I bought employed, together with the gamers, and he bought rave evaluations,” Udoka mentioned of Mazzulla in June, when information of his interview with Jazz broke out. “I did not know a lot about him, however I take gamers’ opinions critically, and he was a consensus man sure. … It is simple to see why, as soon as I be taught to get to know him and be round him. What I’ve inspired our guys to do is be extra vocal, be extra on the market and get their very own voice, the identical manner that I used to be raised in San Antonio.

A monumental process awaits Mazzulla. Udoka drew rave evaluations for uplifting Boston’s transformation from a sub-.500 midseason staff right into a juggernaut. Within the last three months of final season, the Celtics had the league’s greatest report (28-8), greatest offensive ranking (120 factors per 100 possessions) and greatest defensive ranking (105.1 factors allowed per 100 possessions). They captured the No. 2 seed within the Jap Convention, sweeping the Brooklyn Nets within the first spherical of the playoffs and defeating the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Warmth in a seven-game straight collection, earlier than shedding to the Golden State Warriors in last, 4-2. .

Following the commerce acquisition of former Rookie of the Yr Malcolm Brogdon in July, which bolstered Boston’s probabilities of returning to the Finals, the Celtics suffered a collection of unlucky occasions. Veteran striker Danilo Gallinari, who signed a free agent take care of the Celtics in the summertime, tore his left ACL whereas taking part in for Italy in a World Cup qualifier FIBA on the finish of August. Wojnarowski reported Tuesday that All-Defensive heart Robert Williams III will bear left knee arthroscopy this week.

The Celtics are scheduled to carry their Media Day festivities Monday at 12 p.m. ET.

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Ben Rohrbach is a author for Yahoo Sports activities. Do you’ve got any recommendation? E mail him at [email protected] or comply with him on Twitter! Follow @brohrbach