Celtics Suspend Head Coach Ime Udoka For 2022-23 Season
SALT LAKE CITY – The Boston Celtics announced that head coach Ime Udoka has been suspended for the entire 2022-23 NBA season for violations of team policies.
Boston announced the move on Thursday, September 22.
“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 Celtics said in a statement. “A decision about his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date. The suspension takes effect immediately.”
Udoka led the Celtics to the NBA Finals last season, his first season as Boston’s head coach.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) September 23, 2022
ESPN’s Malika Andrews tweeted the following statement from Udoka following the Celtics’ announcement:
“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down. 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.” – Ime Udoka
NEW: Statement from Celtics coach Ime Udoka pic.twitter.com/MFutFx7c3l
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) September 23, 2022
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 22, 2022
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Celtics assistant Joe Mazzulla will serve as Boston’s interim head coach during Udoka’s suspension. Mazzulla was a candidate for the head coaching position with Utah before the Jazz hired fellow Celtics assistant Will Hardy earlier this offseason.
The Celtics have made assistant coach Joe Mazzulla the interim head coach, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 23, 2022
Udoka played at the College of Eastern Utah, now known as Utah State Eastern, from 1995-97. He finished his college career at San Francisco and Portland State.
He went on to play in the NBA and overseas from 2000-2012.
In 2012, Udoka became an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs. He also spent time as an assistant with the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets before getting hired by the Celtics in 2021.
Last season, Udoka led the Celtics to a 51-31 regular season record and coached them to an appearance in the NBA Finals. On their way to the Finals, the Celtics took down Eastern Conference powers in the Brooklyn Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, and Miami Heat. The Bucks were the defending NBA champions before getting eliminated by the Celtics. Boston was defeated in six games by the Golden State Warriors.
The Celtics begin the preseason against the Charlotte Hornets on October 2.