Celtics’ Ime Udoka to be banned for one year for allegedly inappropriate relationship with female staffer, according to reports


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The Boston Celtics are likely to suspend coach Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-23 season. according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Udoka reportedly had an “inappropriate, intimate and consensual relationship” with a female staff member who violated the team’s code of conduct, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported late on Wednesday.

Assistant coach Joe Mazzula likely to be interim coach, per ESPNwith an announcement expected as soon as Thursday.

Coaching suspensions are extremely rare in the NBA. Washington Wizards assistant Mike Batiste was banned for two games last season for entering the stands, and both Mike Budenholzer and Jason Kidd have been given a one-game suspension for conduct that occurred within a game. A lengthy suspension for a coach, especially one imposed by the team, would be unprecedented.

Udoka took over from the Celtics as their first head coach last season, and despite a 23-24 start, the team amassed a stunning 28-7 finish and a final place in the NBA Finals. The Celtics came up short but would come in this season as the betting favorite to win the championship.

Now that Udoka’s status is unclear, that could easily change. This is just the latest issue to hit Boston in what has become a tumultuous off-season. Star forward Jaylen Brown publicly commented on trade rumors involving himself and Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant. Free agent who signed Danilo Gallinari tore his ACL while playing for the Italian national team. Start Center Robert Williams III is recovering from knee surgery and is expected to miss training camp.

Now the Celtics may be without their coach for a significant part of the season. Suspension makes Boston’s road to a replay of the final even more perilous.

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