After all the speculation following Adrian Wojnarowski’s report that Boston Celtics Head Coach had landed himself in hot water with the team for violating organization rules, Wojnarowski later reported that Udoka is expected to be suspended for the entire season for participating in a consensual relationship with a female co-worker in the organization.
The Celtics have not announced anything yet, but with Udoka expected to be out for the season, other details will soon follow, like who will be taking his place for the time being as Head Coach. While those details will come out soon enough, it appears Udoka’s time off from the Celtics might not be temporary.
According to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, Udoka has considered potentially resigning from his role as the Celtics’ Head Coach.
If Udoka were to do that, the Celtics would have to look for a third head coach over the last three years, which is not an easy task. Especially knowing what both Udoka and Brad Stevens did in their time as Head Coach of the Celtics.
Udoka may never live this down if he returns to the sideline as the Celtics head coach too. By suspending him, the Celtics have made it clear that while they want to punish him for his actions, they don’t want to lose him.
Joe Mazzulla to Replace Udoka
After Wojnarowski reported that Udoka is likely to be suspended for the season, he followed that up by saying assistant coach Joe Mazzulla is slated to step in as the team’s interim head coach.
Mazzulla played college basketball for West Virginia University from 2006 to 2011. Since graduating from college, he’s worked his way up as a basketball coach, which started when he became an assistant for the Glenville State University Men’s Basketball team. He’s had ties to the Celtics ever since 2016 when he was an assistant coach for the Maine Red Claws. After being the Head Coach of Fairmont State University’s Men’s Basketball team, the Celtics hired him as an assistant in 2019.
Mazzulla has clearly left an impression around the league, as he was interviewed by the Utah Jazz for their head coach opening earlier this summer before the Jazz picked former Celtics assistant WIll Hardy.
With Udoka suspended, this could potentially serve as Mazzula’s biggest break as a coach since he is coaching a team fresh off an NBA Finals appearance.
Frank Vogel May Join Celtics
On top of reporting that Udoka may resign as head coach, he added that Frank Vogel may join the Celtics’ coaching staff due to the lack of coaching experience on staff at the moment as well as his rapport with Brad Stevens
Vogel not only has experience as a head coach – as he was for the Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic, and Los Angeles Lakers – but he also has experience as an assistant coach for the Celtics, as he was just that for the team from 2001 to 2004 during the Jim O’Brien days.
Though the Lakers are coming off a disastrous season in which Vogel was their head coach, he also coached them to their 17th championship as a franchise two years before that. Not only does he have coaching experience, but he also has playoff success to his name.