- Ima Udoka joined Celtics as their head coach last season
- Celtics will now have a new coach just days ahead of the training camp
- Celtics have named Joe Mazzulla as their interim coach
Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka has released an official statement after being suspended for the 2022-23 NBA season.
In a statement shared by ESPN’s Malika Andrews, Udoka apologized to Celtics players, the organization and fans for his actions, and expressed regret for the events that led to the decision.
The Eastern Conference champions confirmed Friday that they had suspended Udoka for the season due to “violations of team policies.”
“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down. I am sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I will have no further comment,” Udoka said in the statement shared by Andrews on her official Twitter account.
Udoka’s statement came just moments after the Celtics broke the news of his suspension on social media.
“The Boston Celtics announced today that the team has suspended Head Coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season for violations of team policies. A decision about his future with the Celtics beyond this scason will be made at a later date. The suspension takes effect immediately,” Celtics wrote on Twitter.
While Udoka has not resigned, there is still no certainty on whether the Celtics will bring him back next season, according to Yahoo Sports.
It was earlier reported that the Celtics coach had an improper intimate and consensual relationship with a female staff member, which is deemed a violation of the franchise’s code of conduct.
The upcoming campaign was going to be Udoka’s second as Celtics’ head coach after he took over the baton last June from Brad Stevens, who had been the coach for the last eight seasons. Stevens is now the Celtics’ president of basketball operations.
A former NBA player, Udoka spent a decade as an assistant coach before arriving at Celtics the last term. He led them to a 51–31 record and their first NBA finals appearance in 12 years, where they lost in six games to the Golden State Warriors.
Just days before the training camp, the Celtics have been forced to name a new coach. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Celtics have elevated their assistant coach Joe Mazzulla as their interim head coach for the 2022-23 NBA season.