The Boston Celtics suspended second-year head coach Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-23 NBA season for violations of the workforce’s code of conduct, the group introduced Thursday night time.
Assistant coach Joe Mazzulla will function the workforce’s interim head coach in Udoka’s absence. in keeping with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. A call about Udoka’s long-term future with the workforce past the 2022-23 season, the Celtics stated, “shall be made at a later date.” Udoka issued an apology in a obscure assertion.
“I wish to apologize to our gamers, followers, the entire Celtics group, and my household for letting them down,” Udoka stated, by way of ESPN’s Malika Andrews. “I’m sorry for placing the workforce on this troublesome state of affairs, and I settle for the workforce’s determination. Out of respect for everybody concerned, I’ll don’t have any additional remark.”
The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported late Wednesday night time, citing nameless sources, that Udoka allegedly “had an improper intimate and consensual relationship with a feminine member of the workforce workers.”
About 24 hours later, Charania reported that the Celtics grew to become conscious of the connection in July and have been led to imagine by each events that the connection was consensual. However, it’s reported that the lady just lately accused Udoka of constructing undesirable feedback in direction of her, resulting in inner opinions.
Udoka led the Celtics to their first NBA Finals look since 2010 in his debut season as a head coach. Boston is the favourite to win the 2023 championship, in keeping with BetMGM. Udoka performed elements of seven NBA seasons for 5 totally different groups earlier than becoming a member of the San Antonio Spurs as an assistant in 2012. The 45-year-old additionally frolicked as an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets earlier than the Celtics gave him an overdue alternative. to guide a workforce. He completed fourth in Coach of the Year voting final season.
Mazzulla was an assistant for Boston’s G League affiliate in Maine in the course of the 2016-17 season. He coached West Virginia’s Fairmont State University on the Division II faculty stage for two seasons earlier than becoming a member of then-Celtics coach Brad Stevens’ workers as an assistant in 2019. Stevens moved into Boston’s entrance workplace in 2021, assuming the function vacated by former president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and likewise hiring Udoka.
The 34-year-old Mazzulla coached the Celtics’ 2021 Las Vegas Summer League roster to the championship recreation. He interviewed for the pinnacle teaching place that Udoka crammed final yr. Over the summer time, Mazzulla additionally interviewed Ainge, now the chief Utah Jazz government, for the opening left by head coach Quin Snyder’s departure. The Jazz finally employed Will Hardy, the lead assistant on Udoka’s workers final season.
“I talked to all people within the group after I obtained employed, gamers included, and he obtained glowing opinions,” Udoka stated of Mazzulla in June, when information of his Jazz interview broke. “I did not know a lot about him going into it, however I take the gamers’ opinions at a excessive worth, and he was a man that was a consensus sure. … It’s straightforward to see why, as soon as I obtained to know him and be round him. What I’ve inspired our guys to do is be extra vocal, be extra on the market, and get their very own voice, in the identical approach I used to be introduced up in San Antonio.”
Mazzulla endured a troubling profession as a participant at West Virginia University. He reportedly pleaded responsible to costs of disorderly conduct and public drunkenness for an alleged scuffle with police in 2008. A yr later, Mazzulla reportedly pleaded no contest to a lesser cost of disorderly conduct following his arrest on a battery cost for allegedly grabbing a girl by the neck at a bar in Morgantown, West Virginia.
“At the time, I had began to disregard assist,” he stated within the aftermath of his authorized troubles, which his father termed in 2010 as “temper swings and melancholy,” stemming partially from a career-threatening damage. “Once I accepted assist from [Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins] and my teammates it grew to become a lot simpler.”
A monumental job awaits Mazzulla. Udoka drew rave opinions for inspiring Boston’s transformation from a sub-.500 workforce at midseason right into a juggernaut. Over the ultimate three months of final season, the Celtics owned the league’s finest file (28-8), finest offensive score (120 factors per 100 possessions) and finest defensive score (105.1 factors allowed per 100 possessions). They captured the Eastern Conference’s No. 2 seed, sweeping the Brooklyn Nets within the first spherical of the playoffs and defeating the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat in consecutive seven-game sequence, earlier than shedding to the Golden State Warriors within the Finals, 4-2.
Following the commerce acquisition of former Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon in July, which bolstered Boston’s possibilities of returning to the Finals, the Celtics have suffered a string of unlucky information occasions. Veteran ahead Danilo Gallinari, who signed a free-agent contract with the Celtics this summer time, tore his left ACL whereas taking part in for Italy in a FIBA World Cup qualifier in late August. Wojnarowski reported on Tuesday that All-Defensive middle Robert Williams III will bear arthroscopic surgical procedure this week on his left knee.
The Celtics are scheduled to host their media day festivities on Monday at 12 pm ET.
– – – – – – –
Ben Rohrbach is a workers author for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or observe him on Twitter! Follow @brohrbach