On the eve of September 21, ESPN Insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported that former New York Knicks forward and current head coach for the Boston Celtics, Ime Udoka, is facing “possible disciplinary action” for violating “organizational guidelines.”
Though at first, information on the matter was deemed “unspecified”, since the initial report surfaced more details on the matter have been brought to light, with The Athletic’s Shams Charania sharing on his official Twitter account that the violation at hand is due to an “improper intimate and consensual relationship” Udoka held with a member of Boston’s staff.
While a decision has yet to be made about what the disciplinary actions by the Celtics could be, ESPN is reporting that the 45-year-old is “likely facing a suspension for the entire 2022-2023 season,” according to sources.
Udoka is coming off of a phenomenal first season as head coach of the Boston Celtics, where he guided the team to a record of 51-31, a second-place finish in the Eastern Conference standings, and their first NBA Finals appearance since the 2009-10 campaign.
Because of his efforts, the rookie headman received Coach of the Month honors on two separate occasions (February and March) and finished fourth in the running for Coach of the Year.
Udoka Spent Time With Knicks
Before taking on a career in coaching, Udoka was a player who spent seven seasons in the NBA, one as a member of the New York Knicks back during the 2005-06 season.
Though his stint in the Big Apple was short-lived, serving as a member of the organization from April 6 to September 11, he did manage to see action on eight different occasions, posting averages of 2.8 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.
Throughout his NBA career, Udoka spent time with four different organizations in the Lakers, Knicks, Trail Blazers, and Spurs before joining San Antonio’s coaching staff in August of 2012, where he’d spend seven seasons under head coach Greg Popovich, attaining a championship ring in 2014 along the way.
From there he would serve as an assistant for both the Philadelphia 76ers (2019-2020) and the Brooklyn Nets (2020-2021) before being named head coach of the Boston Celtics on June 28, 2021.
Thibodeau’s Days With Knicks May be Numbered
Boston may not be the only Atlantic Division team heading into the 2022-23 campaign with coaching concerns, as an anonymous NBA general manager recently told Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney that the Knicks could find themselves looking for a new head coach next summer should Tom Thibodeau have another sub-par season.
“There was a lot of question as to whether he would make it through last year after the way they fell apart and how undisciplined that team seemed at times,” the executive told Deveney.” He was very slow to change the rotation, things like that, and it rubbed people the wrong way. But Thibs is always consistent in his approach. It’ll be the same this year.
“His problem is, look at the East, and they’re 10th best. That is the best-case scenario if everyone is healthy around the East. They’re 10th. SO he could do the best possible job he can, finish 10th and still get fired. I’d say he will get fired if they finish 10th. It’s a tough spot.”
Despite being a two-time Coach of the Year winner, each one of Thibodeau’s three stints leading the charge for a ball club has been met with unceremonious endings, and, based on this executive’s analysis of the team, he may be heading for a similar “parting of ways” with the Knicks.