The Boston Celtics announced the season-long suspension of head coach Ime Udoka on Thursday night. Multiple media reports cited Udoka’s “inappropriate and consensual sexual relationship” with a female staffer. Udoka is currently engaged to American actress Nia Long.
However, new details of the suspension emerged Friday morning.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported the Celtics became aware of the relationship in July. But the team launched a series of internal interviews about the relationship when “the woman recently accused Udoka of making unwanted comments towards her.”
Charania reported the decision and announcement came “after a closed-door meeting Thursday that involved team owners and president Brad Stevens and lasted several hours.” Franchise leaders had also met previously in the day.
“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down,” Udoka said in a statement released Thursday night. “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.”
The Celtics elevated assistant Joe Mazzulla to interim head coach while Udoka is suspended.
We’ll get our first peek at the new-look Celtics when they host the Charlotte Hornets to tip off preseason play on October 2nd.