Celtics name Ime Udoka suspension ‘well-warranted’ in somber press convention

For privateness causes that had been repeatedly cited, the Celtics shed little gentle on the circumstances that led to suspending head coach Ime Udoka for the entirety of the 2022-23 season.

Throughout a information convention, the Celtics mind belief stated the one-year ban after “violations of staff insurance policies” – which reportedly included an inappropriate, consensual relationship with a feminine Celtics staffer – was “well-warranted” and “backed by substantial analysis and proof and reality.”

These are the phrases of Wyc Grousbeck, the bulk proprietor and governor of the Celtics, who together with president of basketball operations Brad Stevens regularly acknowledged the staff couldn’t remark immediately on the occasions that led to the suspension.

The Celtics had been alerted to “a possible scenario” involving Udoka over the summer season, they stated, which led to the hiring of an impartial regulation agency that performed an investigation.

“The investigation had some twists and turns, and it took a while to develop all of the information,” Grousbeck advised reporters in Boston on Friday, in the future after the announcement. “Every little thing we all know was wrapped up two days in the past.”

Celtics proprietor Wyc Grousbeck

The Celtics stated nobody else – together with the girl reportedly concerned – has been disciplined or is anticipated to be disciplined. Udoka is dealing with a “vital monetary penalty,” Grousbeck stated, after the investigation discovered “a few violations” by a head coach who led the Celtics to the Finals final season.

Staff icon Paul Pierce tweeted the punishment “ought to simply be a tremendous not a suspension.” The Celtics acknowledged reaching the one-year-ban choice was not easy.

“This felt proper, however there’s no clear tips for any of this,” stated Grousbeck, who added a “numerous group” of advisers weighed in on the choice. “I took plenty of recommendation from companions like Brad and others. We collectively got here to this and acquired there, however it was not clear what to do.

“However it was clear that one thing substantial wanted to be accomplished, in my opinion, and it was.”

Stevens grew most emotional when reflecting upon the social media speculation that took off when stories emerged in regards to the relationship. Twitter customers tried to slender down Udoka’s accomplice by digging in to girls who’re employed by the Celtics.

“We have now plenty of gifted girls in our group,” stated Stevens, who has been with the group for almost a decade. “I assumed [Thursday] was actually onerous on them. I feel that no person can management Twitter hypothesis and rampant bulls–t, however I do suppose that we as a corporation have a accountability to ensure we’re there to assist them now as a result of lots of people had been dragged unfairly into that.”

Stevens and Grousbeck met with the gamers, who’re “very involved” about this, Grousbeck stated. Assistant Joe Mazzulla would be the interim head coach. Stevens, who coached the staff from 2013-21, stated he was “completely not” fascinated with returning to the bench.

Ime Udoka during the Celtics playoff run
Ime Udoka throughout the Celtics playoff run
Getty Photographs

In handing out a one-year suspension that runs by means of June 30, 2023 — quite than a slap on the wrist or an outright firing — the Celtics can be in a clumsy place subsequent summer season. They stated they’re undecided about their future head coach.

“I wish to apologize to our gamers, followers, the complete Celtics group, and my household for letting them down,” Udoka stated in a press release. “I’m sorry for placing the staff on this tough scenario, and I settle for the staff’s choice. Out of respect for everybody concerned, I’ll don’t have any additional remark.”

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