The Boston Celtics made a big leap in Ime Udoka’s first season as head coach making it to the NBA Finals, and there is considerable optimism for where the Celtics can go in his second season, as they are among the title favorites coming into the 2022-23 season.
However, it’s possible the Celtics will have to follow the lead of a different head coach for at least a portion of next season, after ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported Udoka is facing a potentially “significant suspension” for violating organizational guidelines. There were plenty of rumors and speculation about what this meant, given Woj reported it was not a violation of NBA rules and was specifically an internal situation with the Celtics.
Later on Wednesday night, Shams Charania of The Athletic arrived with the details of the situation, reporting Udoka had an affair with a woman on the Celtics team staff, citing it as an “improper intimate and consensual relationship.”
Celtics coach Ime Udoka had an improper intimate and consensual relationship with a female member of the team staff, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. It’s been deemed a violation of franchise’s code of conduct.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 22, 2022Advertisement
This situation is not that different than what happened in Minnesota when former GM Gersson Rosas was found to be having an extramarital affair with a staffer that, when coupled with reports of a hostile workplace environment, got him fired. However, it doesn’t appear Udoka’s affair will have the same result of him losing his job, but will cost him some considerable time away from the team, some checks, as well as make public his unfaithfulness to wife Nia Long.
Per Woj, the team has discussed suspending Udoka for the entire season, and as of now it’s unclear who exactly would step into his place.
No final decision has been made on the length of a suspension, but internal discussions have included scenarios that would keep Udoka out for the entirety of the 2022-2023 season, sources told ESPN. https://t.co/Vnn2wWVcKAAdvertisementAdvertisement
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 22, 2022
That would be a considerable shakeup for one of the East’s frontrunners, and Udoka’s standing with the organization that seemed rock solid after leading them to the Finals now feels far more unstable.