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Ex-Nets assistant Ime Udoka suspended for romance with Celtics staffer


The Boston Celtics have suspended head coach Ime Udoka for the complete 2022-23 NBA period for a violation of staff insurance policies, the crew announced in a statement late Thursday night. In the statement, the Celtics reported they will make a final decision relating to Udoka’s upcoming with the group at a later on day.

Joe Mazzulla will provide as interim head mentor for the period.

ESPN initially broke the information late Wednesday night that Udoka could be experiencing attainable disciplinary motion — “including a major suspension” — for violating an unspecified team organizational guideline. Shortly following, The Athletic noted Udoka had “an improper and intimate consensual relationship with a feminine member of the workforce staff members,” which violates the Celtics’ code of conduct.

“We have a great deal of gifted females in our business and I imagined yesterday was truly difficult on them,”  Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens stated on Friday. “Nobody can control Twitter speculation and rampant bullshit, but I do think we have a accountability to make confident we are there to assist them.”

Udoka issued a statement to ESPN’s Malika Andrews on Thursday. “I want to apologize to our players, fans, the total Celtics business and my family for permitting them down,” he wrote. “I am sorry for putting the crew in this difficult circumstance, and I settle for the team’s selection. Out of regard for anyone concerned, I will have no additional comment.”

Udoka’s suspension also comes with a sizeable financial penalty. Celtics governor Wyc Grousbeck claimed the firm hired a regulation company to cope with their inner investigation into Udoka’s intimate connection situation.

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Udoka’s replacement also has a checkered record. Mazzulla was arrested on prices of domestic battery in 2009 though he was a member of West Virginia’s men’s basketball staff. The workforce suspended him indefinitely immediately after he allegedly grabbed a female by the neck at a bar.

Stevens stated they vetted Mazzulla extensively when they initially employed him as an assistant. “I think strongly that in all probability formed him into who he is now in a seriously excellent way,” he reported. “But he’ll be the 1st to inform you that he’s 110 p.c accountable for that & I’ll be the to start with to inform you I believe that it.”

Udoka took the Celtics job after paying one particular period as Steve Nash’s top rated assistant mentor in Brooklyn. He quickly rose among the ranks as a single of the NBA’s major tacticians and aided transform Boston into the NBA’s No. 1 protection in the second 50 % of last time.  

His Celtics swept the Nets out of the very first round in the Japanese Convention playoffs and took a 2-1 series direct over the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals prior to in the long run shedding the sequence in 6 video games. Udoka changed former Celtics head coach Brad Stevens, who moved into a entrance business purpose following serving as head mentor in Boston for eight seasons.

He turned the first rookie head coach to get various Activity 7s in a playoff operate — defeating both of those Milwaukee and Miami in gain-or-go-dwelling situations — and captained a 28-7 run in the 2nd fifty percent of the time right after the Celtics started off .500.

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