Celtics manager Ime Udoka is facing a suspension for violating team policy, league sources confirmed late Wednesday night. A source said discipline was likely to be decided soon, but he declined to elaborate on Udoka’s situation.
The Athletic reported early Thursday morning that Udoka, 45, had an inappropriate intimate and consensual relationship with a female team member. Udoka has been engaged to actress Nia Long since 2015, and the couple has an 11-year-old son.
According to ESPN, the Celtics are considering a suspension of up to one year.
After a challenging start last season with the Celtics on the verge of making the playoffs, Udoka led the team to the NBA Finals in his first season as NBA head coach, finishing fourth in Coach of the Year voting. finished. He earned the trust and respect of his players with his demanding and disciplined style built on accountability.
It’s unclear which Celtics assistant will replace Udoka if he is suspended. Will Hardy, who was Boston’s chief assistant last season, was the obvious choice, but in June he was named head coach of the Jazz. Ben Sullivan began his career in Boston’s Las Vegas Summer League in July. To the Udoka staff this summer.
After taking the NBA title within two wins last June, the Celtics added veterans Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari to a young and talented roster built around First Team All-NBA pick Jayson Tatum. I was. Boston then became the betting favorite to win the championship.
But the last few weeks have been bumpy.
Gallinari is expected to miss the entire season after tearing his ACL while playing for Italy in a FIBA World Cup qualifier. And on Tuesday, the Celtics announced that center Robert Williams, who missed a month after tearing his meniscus last spring, will be out four to six weeks after undergoing a second surgery on his left knee. did.
Now, Udoka’s situation makes things even more volatile.