After losing the NBA Finals, the offseason seemed to be going smoothly for the Boston Celtics. Brad Stevens sprung into action, signing Danilo Gallinari to a two-year deal and making a crucial trade for combo guard Malcolm Brogdon.
Within a few weeks, however, chaos took over. There were the trade rumors surrounding Kevin Durant, then Gallinari tore his ACL while playing for the Italy national team at EuroBasket, and then it was revealed that Robert Williams would need knee surgery.
Head coach Ime Udoka is now threatened with a suspension. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported the news first, but was followed by a tweet from Shams Charania by The Athletic detailing the problem. He reported that Udoka had an “inappropriately intimate and consensual relationship” with a Boston employee.
“Celtics coach Ime Udoka had an inappropriately intimate and consensual relationship with a female team staff member, sources @TheAthletic @Stadium report. It was deemed a violation of the franchise’s code of conduct.” Charania tweeted.
Wojnarowski’s initial account of the issue didn’t include intimate details, but he noted that the Celtics have ongoing discussions about the suspension.
Udoka’s misconduct comes as a surprise to many as it had not previously been reported. Wojnarowski dropped the bombshell on the NBA landscape, noting that Boston is currently discussing options for Udoka.
“ESPN Sources: Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka faces possible disciplinary action – including a substantial suspension – for an unspecified violation of organizational policies. Talks are underway within the Celtics about a final decision. Wojnarowski tweeted.
In his report for ESPN, Wojnarowski also noted that Boston’s assistant coach Joe Mazzulla is likely to be considered for the interim head coaching role.
“Udoka’s top assistant coach, Will Hardy, left the team to coach the Utah Jazz, and another Jazz finalist, Celtics assistant Joe Mazzulla, would likely be seriously considered for an interim role, sources told ESPN,” wrote Wojnarowski.
And despite all the chaos, Wojnarowski said Udoka’s job was not in jeopardy.
“It is not believed that Ime Udoka’s job is in jeopardy, but a suspension is imminent and a final decision of that length could come as early as Thursday, sources tell ESPN.” Wojnarowski tweeted.
That being said, he mentioned that one possible option could be to ban Udoka for the entirety of next season.
In addition to his initial report, Wojnarowski mentioned that Boston had discussed the possibility of suspending Udoka for the entire 2022-23 season.
“No final decision was made on the length of any suspension, but internal discussions included scenarios that would exclude Udoka for the entire 2022-2023 season, sources told ESPN,” Wojnarowski tweeted.
So while fans await the official announcement from the Celtics, there’s nothing to do but keep an eye on Twitter. It’s likely the Celtics will make a statement on the matter on Thursday, but until then, everything seems up in the air.