The Boston Celtics are presently investigating their coach, Ime Udoka, for a relationship with a female member of the team’s staff. According to reports, the end result will likely be “a significant suspension.” On Thursday, Udoka issued a statement on the matter.
He didn’t go into too much detail. But, in a statement released by ESPN’s Malika Andrews, Udoka did apologize for what has happened and said that he’ll accept whatever punishment the Celtics hand down.
“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down,” Udoka said, per Andrews. “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.”
NEW: Statement from Celtics coach Ime Udoka pic.twitter.com/MFutFx7c3l
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) September 23, 2022
The fallout of this investigation has drawn commentary from NBA reporters as well as Udoka’s fiancé, Nia Long.
Naturally, Udoka’s comments got a reaction from several in the NBA world. Though, there was some significant division on what it actually means.
— ™️Marcus (@TheMisterMarcus) September 23, 2022
Doesn’t sound like he’s quitting or they’re firing him. https://t.co/ftXlGzT6Rs
— Aldo Raine🗝 (@livingnthe90s) September 23, 2022
He was clearly told to accept a year suspension or be fired for cause. https://t.co/vJ7l5jzlZw
— Dorian Wilde (@portraitwilde) September 23, 2022
The fact that Ime’s immediate response is “yeah, my bad I get it” really tells a story https://t.co/4LGEWdN03n
— Duncan Smith (@DuncanSmithNBA) September 23, 2022
Udoka and the Celtics had a successful season in 2021-22, his first as the team’s head coach. Boston went 51-31 and reached the NBA Finals, where they were ultimately defeated by the Golden State Warriors.
Assistant Joe Mazzulla has been named as a leading candidate to fill in for Udoka if he is suspended.
[Malika Andrews on Twitter]