Celtics suspend Ime Udoka for season for ‘violations’ of team policies

Celtics

The Celtics did not guarantee Udoka’s return after the season.

Making Udoka

Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka has been suspended for the 2022-23 season. AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn, File

The Celtics announced Thursday the suspension of head coach Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-2023 season, without guaranteeing his return to the role the following season.

In a statement, the team said the reason for the suspension was Udoka’s “violations” — plural — of team policies.

“A decision on his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date,” the statement read. “The suspension is effective immediately.”

Udoka released a statement to ESPN’s Malika Andrews as well.

“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization and my family for letting them down,” Udoka said. “I am sorry to have put the team in this difficult situation and I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for all involved, I will have no further comment.”

According to reports, Udoka was suspended for having an “intimate, consensual” relationship with a Celtics employee. He reportedly has no intention of resigning as he awaits the Celtics’ decision on his future status.

In his first season as Celtics coach, Udoka helped the team turn what started as a disappointing season into its most successful run since 2010. The Celtics were the hottest team in basketball in the second half of last season and made it to the NBA- finals, where they were eliminated by the Warriors in six games.

Led by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Celtics – with a new-look bench filled with plenty of talent – were expected to be a season favorite. However, Udoka’s suspension casts a shadow over what looked like a very promising season just a few weeks ago.

Assistant Joe Mazzulla will reportedly take over for Udoka as interim head coach. Mazzulla has been with the organization since 2019.

The Celtics, who are scheduled to host their Media Day on Monday, open the season Oct. 18 against the 76ers.

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