Celtics Make Final Decision on Ime Udoka Suspension

Ime Udoka

Getty Head coach Ime Udoka of the Boston Celtics calls out a play.

After Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier that Boston Celtics Head Coach Ime Udoka was likely to be suspended for the entire 2022-23 season, the team’s Twitter account made it official.

Udoka has now been suspended for the entire 2022-23 season, and his future with the Celtics going forward is now unclear. As of now, there have been no new details regarding what exactly happened besides that Udoka’s suspension is now official.

After Udoka’s suspension was announced, Adrian Wojnarowski reported that assistant coach Joe Mazzulla will replace Udoka as their interim head coach.

Following his suspension, Udoka made an official statement. In his statement, Udoka did not deny any of the reports that have come out about him since September 21.

“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire organization, 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.”


Jayson Tatum on Joe Mazzulla

With Mazzulla confirmed to be the Celtics’ interim head coach for the 2022-23 season, plenty of clips about him have resurfaced about him, including this clip from Jayson Tatum back when the Celtics were taking on the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.

“I love Joe. I think just being around him for the last three years, you can tell how passionate he is about the guys and his craft. He’s gotten so much more knowledgable and more detailed, just more vocal and more comfortable in his role as a coach. You’ve seen his growth from his first year, and he’s helped me out tremendously as a player and a person. I can’t say enough good things about Joe, and everybody appreciates what he brings to this team. I’m glad that we have him.”

(NSFW language)

 

Analyst Jeff Goodman praised Mazzulla but was surprised that former NBA player and current Celtics assistant Damon Stoudamire did not get the callup.

Mazzulla, who is a Rhode Island native, told Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe back in August how much of an honor it was to be a coach for his hometown team.

“I’ve always said this is where I want to be, because being from here and working for the Celtics means a lot more to me,” Mazzulla told Himmelsbach. “It’s close to my heart and family. I was just fortunate Brad and Ime agreed I should move up.”

Mazzulla has been with the Celtics since 2019.


Mazzulla Interviewed With Utah

After Quin Snyder and the Utah Jazz parted ways, the Jazz were on the lookout for a new head coach. Mazzulla was among the candidates for the job, according to Adrian Wojnarowski.

After former Celtics assistant Will Hardy was hired as Snyder’s successor, Wojnarowski later confirmed that Mazzulla was among the finalists for the job.

At 34 years old, Mazzulla is not only among the youngest head coaches in the NBA, but he is also two years younger than Al Horford, who turned 36 in June.

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