The Boston Celtics have announced that head coach Ime Udoka has been suspended for the entire 2022-23 season.
The Celtics say that his future beyond the 2022-23 season will be decided at a later date.
According to reports, Udoka had an intimate relationship with a female member of the franchise’s staff.
The suspension is effective immediately. Assistant coach Joe Mazzulla will serve as interim head coach for the 2022-23 season.
“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 a statement to ESPN.
Udoka took over as Celtics coach last summer, replacing Brad Stevens after he moved into a front-office role previously held by Danny Ainge, who is now with the Utah Jazz.
In his first season as coach, Udoka oversaw a remarkable turnaround in Boston, one that saw the Celtics go from being under .500 in late January to closing the season with a 28-7 record over their final 35 games.
They then authored an impressive run through the Eastern Conference playoffs, advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time in 12 years.