Boston Celtics suspended head coach Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-23 season due to an improper relationship with a member of the organization.
In a statement issued Thursday night, the Celtics said Udoka violated team policies and left open the possibility that a more extended separation could follow.
The team said the decision about Udoka’s future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made later. One of the people who spoke with the AP said assistant coach Joe Mazzulla will take over as interim coach.
For the 18 October season opener preparation, The defending Eastern Conference champions are scheduled to hold media on Monday and open training camp on Tuesday.
In a statement published by ESPN, Udoka apologized to players, fans, and the entire Celtics organization and said 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 have no further comment, Udoka said.
Udoka led the Celtics to the NBA finals last spring and a 51-31 record last season, and It is unclear if Udoka and the Celtics will be as eager to reunite.
Udoka spent most of his NBA playing career with San Antonio, and later, he joined Spurs coach Gregg Popovich’s staff as an assistant and worked from 2012 through 2019.
Udoka spent the 2019-20 season in Philadelphia and the 2020-21 season in Brooklyn, and later, he was hired by the Celtics as the successor to Brad Stevens.
Udoka said after taking the Celtics to the NBA finals, The future is bright, and we’re just getting started.
Center Robert Williams, a part of the Boston defense scheme, is expected to miss the start of the season because he is dealing with knee soreness.
It is expected that Mazzulla will take over as interim coach of the Celtics, and he has only previous experience as a head coach, is a two-year stint at Division II’s Fairmont State in West Virginia.