Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka has been suspended for the entire 2022-23 season, the team announced Thursday. The suspension is the result of "violations of team policies," the Celtics said in a statement.
The suspension takes effect immediately and "a decision about his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date," the team said.
During a Friday news conference, owner Wyc Grousbeck said an outside law firm found multiple violations of team policies during its months-long investigation into Udoka.
"We go to great lengths ... to run the organization with the central core value of respect and freedom in the workplace from harassment or any unwelcome attention," Grousbeck said. "This feels very much, to me, like one of a kind. That's my personal belief. But I'll have to verify that."
Neither Grousbeck nor president of basketball operations Brad Stevens would elaborate on the specifics of the violations or the private report that was delivered to the team two days ago. But a person with knowledge of the matter, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the details were not made public, told The Associated Press that it involved an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the organization.
No one else in the organization is facing discipline, Grousbeck said, adding that the team will be vigilant to make sure that Udoka's behavior doesn't indicate a larger problem.
On Wednesday, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported that Udoka had "an improper intimate and consensual relationship with a female member of the team staff."
The Boston Celtics will enter the 2022-23 season as the defending Eastern Conference champions. They lost in the NBA Finals to the Golden State Warriors four games to two last season.
Assistant coach Joe Mazzulla will take over head coaching duties this season, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Before becoming the Celtics' head coach in 2021, Udoka spent seven seasons as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs from 2012 to 2019. He spent one year as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers in 2019, followed by another one-season run as an assistant with the Brooklyn Nets.
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