Ime Udoka

The NBA world was rocked Thursday morning by the reports by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletics’ Shams Charania that Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka is “facing possible disciplinary action – including a significant suspension” over “an improper and consensual relationship with a female member of the team staff.”

Naturally, this is a bombshell development, especially given that the Celtics are considered one of the favorites to win the 2023 NBA Title. But while there’s a ton of speculation about whether or not Udoka will remain with the team and who will coach in his absence, the lack of details and announcements by the franchise is leading to some very unhealthy and unhelpful speculation across social media, including from media members who should know better.

People like ESPN’s Richard Jefferson have been throwing out a lot of unsubstantiated thoughts to fill in the blanks when we barely know enough to make sense of the situation.

The lack of accountability from people in the NBA world over waiting for the story to develop, coupled with the fact that whoever leaked the story seemed to want to damage Udoka’s credibility, is leading many members of the NBA world to chastise those who would talk out of turn until the details are better known.

“If somebody in the Celtics organization leaked that story about Ime Udoka, they need to be held accountable.” said Jemele Hill. “Every woman who works there now must deal with some awful speculation. Just foul.”

“The handling of the Ime Udoka situation has been awful,” said NBA writer Keith Smith. “From it leaking out to the coverage to the rampant speculation and putting people’s names and reputation up while speculation is disgusting and gross. No one needs these details. These are real people in a messed-up spot.”

“I hate that this Udoka story was leaked to the public, when it was a private matter that should be handled in-house,” said ESPN’s Molly McGrath. “It makes the organization look disorganized and its people untrustworthy. And now every female staffer will unfairly face scrutiny, which is just gross and sexist.”

ESPN’s Senior NBA writer Mark Spears even had to go as far as to report that a female member of the Celtics front office was not involved in the report to quell speculation.

We’ll likely learn more details soon, one way or another. But in the meantime, rampant speculation only serves to damage female Celtics employees who are unrelated to the matter as well as those involved in Udoka’s personal life.

[Woj, Shams]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.