Celtics confirm season-long suspension for head coach Udoka

Liam Phillips
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Head coach Ime Udoka of the Boston Celtics looks on
Head coach Ime Udoka of the Boston Celtics looks on

Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka has officially been suspended by the franchise for the entire 2022-23 season for an "improper" consensual relationship with a female staff member.

Udoka, who in his first year as a head coach guided the Celtics to their first NBA Finals appearance since 2010, will be replaced by assistant Joe Mazzulla as interim head coach, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Mazzulla was considered a finalist for the Utah Jazz head coaching role that ended up going to fellow Celtics assistant Will Hardy, after former Celtics general manager Danny Ainge took the top role in Utah.

In a 46-word statement on Thursday night, the Celtics confirmed reports from ESPN and The Athletic that they have opted to sideline Udoka for the full season for what they call "violations of team policies". They also did not confirm Udoka would definitely return for next season, adding "a decision about his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date".

Udoka released a brief apology, saying: "I want to apologise to our players, fans the entire Celtics organisation, and my family for letting them down. 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."

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