Ime Udoka Suspension? Celtics Coach Reportedly Facing Disciplinary Action – NBC Boston

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The Boston Celtics might be without their head coach to start the NBA season.

ESPN, citing sources, reported late Wednesday night that Ime Udoka is facing disciplinary action that’s expected to include a significant suspension for his role in a consensual, intimate relationship with a female member of the franchise’s staff.

The relationship reportedly has been considered a violation of the organization’s code of conduct guidelines.

A final decision has not yet been made, but sources tell ESPN that it is possible that Udoka could be out for the entire season. A decision on the length of any suspension could come as soon as Thursday, the sources added.

NBC Sports Boston’s Michael Holley said it’s important to note this appears to be a team issue — not a league issue.

“The news about discipline for Celtics Coach Ime Udoka is significant because you usually don’t see this in the NBA,” Holley said. “Coaches are fined sometimes for comments about officials, or if they’re going to be suspended it’s a game or two, but news about a significant suspension for team violations suggests something very serious.”

Holley adds that this does not appear to be a suspension being handed down by the National Basketball League.

“This is a team issue, it is not a league issue. For example if we were talking about tampering or we were talking about something of that nature, something global, then the league would handle it,” Holley explained. “But the language here suggests that this is something that the team, the organization is going to take care of, and the fact that we keep hearing ‘significant’ tells you that it’s fairly serious.”

Udoka’s job is reportedly safe, and the organization would likely rely on one of its assistant coaches in the interim. NBC Sports Boston says Damon Stoudamire would be the likely candidate, although Ben Sullivan, Joe Mazzulla, Aaron Miles and Tony Dobbins are also on Udoka’s staff.

Still, losing Udoka for an extended period of time would be a tremendous blow to a Boston team that thrived in his debut season as head coach. The Celtics finished the 2021-22 campaign with a 51-31 record to earn the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, then made it to the NBA Finals where they were defeated by the Golden State Warriors in six games.

The C’s will begin training camp later this month and begin the preseason on Oct. 2. The regular season opener is scheduled for Oct. 18 vs. the Philadelphia 76ers.

Udoka has been in a high-profile relationship with actress Nia Long for more than a decade. They have been engaged for years and have a son together.

Ime Udoka Suspension? Celtics Coach Reportedly Facing Disciplinary Action – NBC Boston

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