The Celtics have suspended coach Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-23 season for violation of team policy, the franchise announced on Thursday. The team added in a statement that “a decision about his future with the Celtics after this season will be made at a later date.”
The second-year coach’s sentence is the result of an intimate relationship with a female member of the organization, The Athletic first reported on Thursday morning.
Some members of the Celtics organization first became aware of the relationship in July, sources said. At that point, the team leadership was led to believe by both parties that the relationship was consensual. But sources said the woman recently accused Udoka of making unwanted comments towards her, prompting the team to launch a series of internal interviews.
The team’s decision and announcement came after a closed-door meeting Thursday involving team owners and President Brad Stevens that lasted several hours, sources said. Earlier Thursday, Stevens and members of the Celtics front office met players at the team facility.
“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization and my family for disappointing,” Udoka said in a statement on Thursday night. “I am sorry to have put the team in this difficult situation and I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I will not comment further.”
Udoka, 45, entered his second season at the helm in Boston after taking over from Stevens, who became president of basketball operations, in June 2021. The Celtics went into regular season 51-31 last year and reached the