Boston Celtics head coach, Ime Udoka, will miss all of the 2022–23 NBA season because of an alleged affair. The New York Post reports that Udoka was involved in an inappropriate and consenting relationship with a female employee of the club, which is against the organization’s code of conduct. On Thursday, the franchise announced he had been suspended for the entire season. The 45-year-old coach has been in a long-term relationship with actress Nia Long since 2010, and the pair share a son.
Udoka said, “I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down. I am sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I will have no further comment.” The team stated, “A decision about his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date.”
Before joining the Celtics in 2021, Udoka was on Steve Nash’s coaching staff with the New Jersey Nets. In Udoka’s first season as head coach, the Celtics made the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010 but lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games. They defeated the Heat, Nets, and Bucks in the Eastern Conference playoffs after finishing the regular season with a 28-7 record in their final 35 games.
Udoka succeeded Brad Stevens as Boston’s head coach after the latter was promoted to president of basketball operations last year. He also served as San Antonio Spurs assistant coach for nine seasons alongside Gregg Popovich. In Udoka’s absence, Celtics assistant Joe Mazzulla will fill in as head coach for the start of training camp.