Boston Celtics

Mar 9, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka during the first half against the Charlotte Hornets at the Spectrum Center. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

  • The Celtics’ pursuit of an 18th NBA championship will have to come with a new head coach, at least for the 2022-23 season, as the Celtics have officially suspended Ime Udoka for the entire season.

    In hot water for what was called a violation of team policy, which was for a reported consensual relationship with a female staffer, the Celtics indeed hit Udoka with the rumored whopper of a punishment by way of a Thursday night statement.

  • “The Boston Celtics announced today that the team has suspended Head Coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season for violations of team policies,” the team-provided statement read. “A decision about his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date.

    “The suspension takes effect immediately.”

    That ‘later date’ comment in regards to Udoka’s future is certainly noteworthy, as it by all means confirms that Udoka may not be back with the team in 2023-24. That’s not exactly shocking, as it may be a bit jarring for all involved for Udoka to simply walk back in and try to pick up where he left off after a full season away, especially with this being a team-imposed suspension.

  • Udoka, meanwhile, issued his own statement, which was brought to us by ESPN’s Malika Andrews.

    “I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down,” Udoka’s statement read. “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.”

  • With Udoka out of the picture, the Celtics will make Joe Mazzulla the team’s interim coach for the 2022-23 season, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

    Mazzulla, a Rhode Island native who joined the Celtics’ staff back in 2019, has never served as a head coach at the NBA level, but has two years of head coaching experience with Fairmont State University.

    With FSU, the 34-year-old compiled a 43-17 record and took the team to the D-II tourney in 2019.