The Boston Celtics had a relatively busy beginning of the summer. After making a run to the NBA Finals, they signed Danilo Gallinari and traded for Malcolm Brogdon. Everything was looking up for Boston, but lately, things have been crumbling around them.
First, there was Gallinari’s injury. He tore his ACL while playing for the Italian national team at EuroBasket. Then, it was announced that Robert Williams would require knee surgery and could miss roughly 4-6 weeks of action. And now, Ime Udoka is in trouble.
Adrian Wojnarowski dropped a bombshell on the league, tweeting that Udoka faces a likely suspension for breaking team rules, although he failed to include any details past that. In a later update, though, he revealed that Udoka’s job is not in jeopardy.
“Ime Udoka’s job isn’t believed to be in jeopardy, but a suspension is looming and a final determination on that length could come as soon as Thursday, sources tell ESPN,” Wojnarowski tweeted.
The news blindsided the NBA landscape, as no new details have come out regarding what Udoka did that broke team rules. Now, fans are left in waiting as the team prepares to make an announcement on the matter.
Udoka Faces Possible Suspension
The head coach joined the Celtics last year when Danny Ainge retired (for a short period of time), and Brad Stevens jumped into a front office role. While the team got out to a rocky start, he eventually righted the ship, leading the Celtics on an incredible second-half run that culminated in them making the NBA Finals.
However, Wojnarowski’s report of a potential suspension brought all those positive talks to a halt.
“ESPN Sources: Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka is facing possible disciplinary action – including a significant suspension – for an unspecified violation of organizational guidelines. Discussions are ongoing within the Celtics on a final determination” Wojnarowski initially reported.
Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe then followed up on Wojnarowski’s news, confirming the report. Again, though, he did not have any additional insight into the situation.
“Celtics coach Ime Udoka is facing a likely suspension for a violation of team rules, a league source confirms,” Himmelsbach tweeted.
In addition, Wojnarowski pegged Joe Mazzulla as a potential interim replacement for Udoka.
Mazzulla Could Repalce Udoka
Earlier this summer, Udoka’s top assistant, Will Hardy, departed from Boston and accepted a job as the head coach of the Utah Jazz. In turn, Wojnarowski believes that Mazzulla could be the one to step into the head coaching role during Udoka’s likely suspension.
“Udoka’s top assistant coach, Will Hardy, left to become coach of the Utah Jazz, and another Jazz finalist, Celtics assistant Joe Mazzulla, would likely be a serious consideration in an interim role, sources told ESPN,” Wojnarowski wrote.
Again, there is little known about the situation beyond the fact that he will likely be suspended. The timetable of the suspension and the violation Udoka committed are unknown.
More details should emerge quickly, however, as training camp is set to begin very soon, and the start of the regular season is now less than a month away.