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Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka has been suspended for the season

BOSTON –

The Boston Celtics suspended Ime Udoka for the yr and suspended the coach who led them to the NBA Finals final spring for your entire 2022-23 season after two individuals with data of the matter alleged he had an inappropriate relationship with a group member. group.

The individuals spoke to The Related Press on situation of anonymity as a result of the group has not launched these particulars. After a day of wrangling over the phrases of the suspension, the Celtics stated in a press release Thursday evening that Udoka violated group coverage, leaving open the potential for an extended separation.

“A choice on his future with the Celtics past this season shall be made at a later date,” the group stated.

Assistant coach Joe Mazzulla will function interim coach, in accordance with one of many individuals who spoke to the AP. The Jap Convention champions are scheduled to carry a media day on Monday and residential apply on Tuesday in preparation for the season opener on Oct. 18.

In a press release launched to ESPN, Udoka apologized to “our gamers, followers, your entire Celtics group and my household for letting them down.”

He stated, “I remorse placing the group in such a tough state of affairs, and I settle for the group’s choice. “Out of respect for all concerned, I can’t remark additional.”

Udoka, a longtime assistant in his first NBA head teaching job, led Boston to a 51-31 document final season and a 26-6 document over his final 32 video games. The Celtics beat Brooklyn, Milwaukee and Miami en path to the NBA Finals earlier than dropping to the Golden State Warriors in six video games.

The incident shocked the NBA and shocked a group that was among the many favorites to compete for the title this season. It might be an unprecedented 18th title for the franchise.

However the story in Boston was paying homage to the citywide shakeup in 2020, when Purple Sox supervisor Alex Cora was suspended for a yr by Main League Baseball for a signal-stealing scandal at his earlier job with the Houston Astros. As a substitute, the events parted methods.

After a last-place end underneath Ron Roenick in a pandemic-shortened season, Cora was rehired a yr later and accepted once more.

It is unclear whether or not Udoka and the Celtics could be motivated to reunite.

Udoka, 45, spent most of his NBA profession with San Antonio earlier than serving as an assistant on Spurs coach Gregg Popovich’s workers. Udoka was with the Spurs from 2012 to 2019, profitable all 14 of them, and was rapidly positioned on the shortlist for the open head teaching job.

He spent the 2019-20 season in Philadelphia and the 2020-21 season in Brooklyn earlier than the Celtics employed him as Brad Stevens’ successor in June 2021. In Yr 1, Udoka completed fourth in Coach of the Yr voting and the Celtics gained two championships.

“The long run is vibrant, we’re simply getting began,” Udoka stated after the NBA Finals.

Perhaps not.

The pre-training camp bomb is the newest twist in what ought to have been a promising season for the NBA’s most embellished franchise.

The Celtics bolstered their secondary by buying guard Malcolm Brogdon from Indiana State after which added sharpshooting veteran ahead Danilo Gallinari in free company. However Gallinari tore the ACL in his left knee final month and can miss the upcoming season.

Heart Robert Williams, a key a part of Boston’s protection that performed by way of accidents throughout final season’s playoffs, continues to be coping with knee issues and is anticipated to overlook the beginning of the season.

The Celtics have additionally been within the information amid hypothesis a couple of new house for Brooklyn ahead Kevin Durant, the perennial All-Star who made a commerce request after which turned it down. The talks didn’t come to fruition, however there have been questions on Boston’s dedication to younger star Jaylen Brown.

It is also the NBA’s second main disciplinary state of affairs in as many weeks: Commissioner Adam Silver final week suspended Phoenix Suns and WNBA Phoenix Mercury proprietor Robert Sarver for a yr and fined him $10 million. The investigation revealed his habits within the office, together with abusive and racially charged language. Sarver introduced Wednesday that he intends to promote the group.

Mazzulla interviewed for the Utah Jazz teaching job this summer time, a place that finally went to Will Hardy, one other of Udoka’s assistants in Boston final season.

Mazzulla’s solely head teaching expertise was a two-year stint at Division II West Virginia State Fairmont State, the place he went 43-17 and made the NCAA Event in his second straight season. Mazzulla, a New England native from Rhode Island, performed at West Virginia and was an assistant with the Celtics’ G League group earlier than taking up at Fairmont State, earlier than being rehired by the Celtics in June 2019 as a part of Stevens’ workers.

Mazzulla performed its final recreation at Fairmont State in opposition to Mercyhurst. His first actual recreation with the Celtics shall be an enormous one: Boston is scheduled to host archrival Philadelphia within the first recreation, they usually’ll be paying tribute to the Corridor of Famer all yr lengthy.

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Reynolds reviews from Miami.

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