The Boston Celtics’ offseason just got rocked. After getting news that Danilo Gallinari tore his ACL while playing for Italy at EuroBasket and that Robert Williams will require knee surgery that could hold him out for 4-6 weeks, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN dropped a bombshell on Boston.
He reported that Celtics head coach Ime Udoka is facing a likely suspension and other disciplinary action from the team after violating the organization’s code of conduct. And while no details were initially leaked, he also noted that the team has considered drastic measures.
According to Wojnarowski, the Celtics are still in the midst of considering suspension options for Udoka. However, one of the options they have thrown around is a ban that would see him sit out the entirety of the 2022-23 NBA season.
“No final decision has been made on the length of a suspension, but internal discussions have included scenarios that would keep Udoka out for the entirety of the 2022-2023 season, sources told ESPN,” Wojnarowski tweeted.
Udoka joined the Celtics last offseason when Danny Ainge (briefly) retired, and Brad Stevens stepped into a front office role. He led the Celtics to an appearance in the NBA Finals and finished fourth in NBA Coach of the Year voting.
While Wojnarowski’s report didn’t include intimate details, Shams Charania of The Athletic added those in a later report.
Udoka Had ‘Consensual Relationship’
Charnia reported in a tweet that Udoka had a consensual relationship with a female member of Boston’s staff and that the Celtics viewed it as a violation of their franchise’s code of conduct.
“Celtics coach Ime Udoka had an improper intimate and consensual relationship with a female member of the team staff, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. It’s been deemed a violation of franchise’s code of conduct,” Charania tweeted.
There were no names mentioned in the report, but Wojnarowski’s full article for ESPN detailed some important information as to the next steps for Boston.
Next Steps for Celtics Without Udoka
First and foremost, while the Celtics haven’t made any final decisions on Udoka’s punishment, Wojnarowski revealed that his job is not in jeopardy at the moment.
“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.
That being said, he also mentioned that there is already a top candidate to become the interim head coach in Boston – assistant coach Joe Mazzulla.
“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 in serious consideration for an interim role, sources told ESPN,” wrote Wojnarowski.
Mazzulla joined the Celtics in 2019 and has experience coaching in the G League. He was promoted to Udoka’s lead assistant when Hardy left for Utah earlier this summer.
All indications point to the Celtics making somewhat of a quick decision in regard to Udoka’s suspension, as multiple reports have mentioned Thursday as a day to watch out for.