Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka is facing a significant suspension — possibly the entire 2022-23 season — after having an “improper intimate and consensual relationship with a female member of the team staff,” according to reports.
The Athletic reported the specifics of Udoka’s breach of organizational conduct rules.
Udoka is engaged to actress Nia Long, with whom he has been in a relationship since 2010 and with whom he shares a son.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said on air Thursday morning that Udoka, 45, could miss the entire 2022-23 season.
“The length of that suspension is expected to be decided as soon as Thursday,” Woj said on air. “Sources told ESPN that some of Boston’s internal conversations have included the possibility that Udoka could miss the entirety of the 2022-23 season.
“Sources say Udoka’s job is not in jeopardy, but the Celtics are bracing for a significant suspension and the possibility that the coach who led them to the NBA Finals in his first season could possibly miss the entirety of this coming year.”
Woj reported in a story that “Celtics assistant Joe Mazzulla would likely be in serious consideration for an interim role,” per sources.
Udoka was hired in June 2021 after he served as an assistant with the Spurs, 76ers and Nets.
In May of this year, he clinched the team’s first NBA Finals appearance since 2010. The Celtics lost to Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors in six games.
This news comes after Suns owner Robert Sarver, who was under fire following an investigation into allegations of workplace misconduct against him and the organization, announced Wednesday that he was selling the Suns and the Mercury of the WNBA.