Celtics head coach Ime Udoka opens up after suspension for alleged affair with staff member

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The Boston Celtics announced Thursday, September 22, that head coach Ime Udoka had been suspended for the 2022-2023 season with immediate effect. Udoka has held the position since June of 2021. No decision has yet been made about his future with the organization following the suspension.

This disciplinary action was taken due to Udoka violating team policies. Sources confirmed the Celtics head coach allegedly had a consensual intimate affair with a woman on the team’s staff. Udoka finally responded to this incident today as he released a statement offering his apologies to “our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family.” Malika Andrews of ESPN  obtained and shared this statement online.

Udoka also apologized for putting his team in a “difficult situation” and said he accepted the decision which was made. He did not offer any further comments. Professionally, the relationship between Udoka and the staffer is a violation of Celtics’ guidelines. Off the court, he is engaged to his longtime girlfriend, Nia Long. The two have been together since 2010 and have a 10-year-old son. They have been engaged since 2015.

Ime Udoka took over as the legendary team’s head coach after Brad Stevens left the position in 2021. Stevens is currently the President of Basketball Operations for the Boston Celtics. Over the past seasons, Udoka proved himself to be a formidable replacement. During the 2021-2022 season, he led the team to its first appearance in the NBA finals since 2010.

This suspension takes place less than one month before the Celtics kick off the current season. On October 18, the Celtics will face the Philadelphia 76ers at Boston’s TD Garden. Next week marks the opening of NBA training camps, and preseason games are scheduled for Friday, September 30. The Boston Celtics will head into the 2022-2023 season under the leadership of assistant-turned-interim head coach Joe Mazzulla.

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