Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka banned for 2022-2023 season


BOSTON — Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka has been officially banned from the team for the 2022-23 season. The discipline was issued by the team, not the NBA.

The Celtics announced on Thursday evening that Udoka has been suspended for violating team policy. There is no guarantee that he will return to the track after the suspension has ended.

“A decision about his future with the Celtics after this season will be made at a later date,” the statement said. “The suspension is effective immediately.”

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Earlier on Thursday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski – who first broke the story on Wednesday night – indicated a season-long suspension was “probable”. Both Wojnarowski and Shams Charania of The Athletic reported that Udoka had “a consensual relationship with a female staff member” who violated team rules.

Udoka also released a statement on Thursday evening.

“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization and my family for disappointing,” read the statement. “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 not comment further.”

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Udoka joined the Celtics last summer and after navigating some early season turmoil, Boston led an incredible turnaround in the second half. The Celtics, who were a sub-.500 team at the end of January, finished the season by winning 28 of their last 35 games to claim the 2nd division in the Eastern Conference. Boston defeated Brooklyn in the first round of the playoffs before beating Milwaukee and Miami in a seven-game series to advance to the NBA Finals. The Celtics lost in six games to the Golden State Warriors in the final.

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