Ime Udoka facing a possible full-season suspension for violating team rules
By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]
The Boston Celtics starting the next season with an interim head coach is a real possibility.
Boston’s play-caller Ime Udoka is facing disciplinary action and likely a significant suspension due to violating team rules, as reported by ESPN late Wednesday, early Thursday morning in Europe. He had a consensual, intimate relationship with a woman attached to the team staff, added Shams Charania of The Athletic.
His job is labeled as safe. However, he is expected to be suspended with internal discussions including forcing him to the sidelines for the entire 2022-23 NBA season, as noted by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Assistant Joe Mazzulla is a candidate to cover as the interim head coach.
Udoka, 45, was hired as the head coach of the Celtics before the 2021-22 season. Efforts resulted in a 51-31 regular-season W-L tally to earn the second seed in the Eastern Conference bracket. Sweeping the Brooklyn Nets and edging out both the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat in seven games clinched a berth in the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010. But the Celtics lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games.
He previously worked at the San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers, and Nets as an assistant, also in Team USA under Gregg Popovich in the 2019 FIBA World Cup and 2020 Olympic Games. His playing days were marked by stints at the Spurs, Sacramento Kings, Portland Trail Blazers, New York Knicks, and Los Angeles Lakers. In Europe, he played for Gran Canaria in 2004, JA Vichy in 2005, and UCAM Murcia concluding his career in 2012. At the international level, he represented Nigeria.
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