Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka will not be resigning from his position as he ‘awaits sanction from the organization,’ according to reports.
Udoka is reportedly facing a potential season-long suspension over an improper, consensual affair with a female member of the team’s staff.
It was previously reported that he was considering resigning but he will now not do so as he waits for sanctions from the franchise, according to Chris Haynes
‘Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka will not be resigning from his position as he awaits sanction from the organization, league sources tell @NBAonTNT,’ the senior NBA insider tweeted.
Udoka, who led the Celtics to the NBA Finals in June, has been engaged for years to actress Nia Long, who gave birth to the couple’s son in 2015. However, Long and Udoka were ‘believed to have been separated prior to current issue,’ according to Bally Sports’ Brandon Robinson.
He had considered potentially resigning, Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix reported, adding that coaches and staff are bracing for a year-long suspension.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who first reported the looming suspension, writes that Udoka’s job is not in jeopardy. However, the team considers the relationship to be a violation, and a decision on the length of the ban could come this week.
Wojnarowski doubled down on that reporting Thursday, writing that Udoka is ‘likely facing a suspension for the entire 20223-2023 season.’
The Athletic’s Shams Charania first reported that Udoka had ‘an improper intimate and consensual relationship’ with a female member of the team staff. ESPN and SI have since matched that reporting.
The Boston Globe’s Adam Himmelsbach has confirmed that Udoka is facing a suspension for a violation of team rules, although his sources did not reveal the specific violation.
Udoka was named head coach of the Boston Celtics at the start of the 2021-22 season after former head coach Brad Stevens was promoted to President of Basketball Operations.
In his first season as a head coach, Udoka amassed a 51-31 record and guided the Celtics to a regular-season Atlantic Division title.
Udoka then helped lead Boston all the way to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010. There, they fell to the Golden State Warriors in six games.
His top assistant, Will Hardy, left Boston to become head coach of the Utah Jazz, leaving current Celtics assistant Joe Mazzulla as the interim coach for Udoka’s suspension, according to ESPN. Of course, Stevens has experience coaching the team, but it’s unclear if he’s willing to return to the bench after moving up to the front office.
The Celtics will hold a media day on Monday before opening training camp on Tuesday. Their first preseason game is home against the Charlotte Hornets on October 2. Boston opens their regular season slate on October 18 at home against the 76ers.