Before Boston Celtics Head Coach Ime Udoka was officially suspended by the team for the entire season, many had their own takes on what the appropriate punishment was for Udoka’s actions. Among them was Celtics legend Paul Pierce, who gave his two cents on the matter.
The Celtics did not adhere to Pierce’s opinion on the matter, as afterward, they officially suspended Udoka for the season. Not only that, but they said his future will be determined at a later date.
They also followed that up by promoting assistant Joe Mazzula to interim head coach for the 2022-23 season with Udoka gone for the foreseeable future.
Udoka would later make a statement accepting his fate while not denying anything that had come out about what he had reportedly been doing in the organization.
Since Pierce’s tweet, more details have come out about what exactly had been going on. While it’s understandable that some may have come to the same conclusion that Pierce did before the facts came out, the truth of the matter is no one should jump to any conclusions until the entire scope is revealed.
Udoka’s Relationship May Not Have Been Consensual
When Shams Charania of The Athletic first revealed the details of what had been going on, he described it as an “improper intimate” and “consensual relationship” with the staffer.
The improper albeit consensual aspect of the relationship was why many, including Pierce, believed Udoka did not deserve a harsh punishment like being suspended for the season. However, Charania later reported that the relationship may not have been as consensual as he first reported or as the Celtics initially believed.
“Some members of the Celtics organization first became aware of the relationship in July, sources said. At that time, team leadership was led to believe by both parties that the relationship was consensual. But sources said that the woman recently accused Udoka of making unwanted comments toward her — leading the team to launch a set of internal interviews.”
The unwanted comments Udoka allegedly made probably played a factor in why he was suspended for the season and why his future with the Celtics is in doubt until further notice.
Matt Barnes Says Udoka’s Situation is Messy
Matt Barnes, who won a championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2017, initially defended Udoka when it came out that it was likely he would be suspended for the season. However, after learning more details of what was going on – which the public does not currently know about – he later apologized for speaking out on the matter before knowing all the facts.
“Last night, without knowing all the facts, I spoke on Ime Udoka’s defense, and after finding out the facts after I spoke, I erased what I posted because this situation in Boston is deep, it’s messy, it’s 100 times uglier than any of us thought,” said Barnes.
Barnes later added that what Udoka did behind closed doors was something Barnes himself could not condone.
“Some things happened that I can’t condone, I can’t back, and it’s not my place to tell you what happened,” Barnes explained. “If it ends up coming out, it ends up coming out. But that is the reason why I erased my post last night because after I posted it, I got a call from someone who ran all the details, and shit is deep. Praying for everybody involved, hope everyone gets through this.”