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The Boston Celtics held a press conference one day after suspending head coach Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-2023 NBA season for “violations of team policies.”
Udoka reportedly had a consensual relationship with a female staffer within the Celtics organization.
Celtics majority owner Wyc Grousbeck and President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens were present at the press conference.
Grousbeck told reporters that the suspension came after a months-long investigation by an external law firm that conducted a “thorough investigation.”
“We learned over the summer, some part of the summer, that there was a situation,” Grousbeck said Friday. “Called in the law firm at that point and the investigation had some twists and turns and took some time to develop all the facts. It finally concluded, for now, everything we know was wrapped up two days ago.”
Udoka, who was preparing to enter his second season as head coach of the organization, apologized in a statement Thursday evening.
“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down,” Udoka said. “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 are fresh off an appearance in the NBA Finals, where Boston lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games. The Celtics were one of the favorites to win the Eastern Conference in 2022 before the news of Udoka’s suspension.
Boston named assistant coach Joe Mazzulla as interim head coach for the 2022-2023 season.
“This felt right, but there’s no clear guidelines for any of this,” Grousbeck said.
“I took a lot of advice from partners like Brad and others. We collectively came to this and got there, but it was not clear what to do. But it was clear that something substantial needed to be done, in my view, and it was.”
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report