The Boston Celtics on Thursday suspended Coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season for unspecified “violations of crew insurance policies,” simply months after he led the crew to the N.B.A. finals in his first 12 months within the function.
An individual briefed on the matter who was not approved to talk publicly about it mentioned Udoka had an inappropriate relationship with a feminine crew worker that was thought-about a violation of the crew’s organizational tips.
The Celtics haven’t mentioned who would fill Udoka’s publish throughout his suspension. Wyc Grousbeck, the Celtics’ majority proprietor, declined to remark. A Celtics spokesperson additionally declined to remark.
Udoka spent 9 seasons as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Nets earlier than the Celtics employed him to his first head teaching function in June 2021. The Celtics misplaced to Golden State within the N.B.A. finals this June.
Udoka’s suspension comes throughout a difficult month for the N.B.A.
On Tuesday, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards was fined $40,000 for making homophobic remarks in a publish on Instagram, the place he has greater than 1 million followers.
Final week, the N.B.A. mentioned an investigation had unearthed a yearslong sample of inappropriate habits by Robert Sarver, the bulk proprietor of the Phoenix Suns and the W.N.B.A.’s Phoenix Mercury. The investigation’s report mentioned Sarver had used racial slurs and handled feminine workers unfairly, amongst different findings, over greater than a decade. N.B.A. Commissioner Adam Silver fined Sarver $10 million — the utmost permitted — and suspended him for a 12 months. However amid backlash in regards to the perceived leniency of the punishment, Sarver introduced Wednesday that he deliberate to promote each groups.
The Suns and the Celtics are scheduled to host media days for the 2022-23 season Monday.
Udoka, who’s from Portland, Ore., had a peripatetic profession as a basketball participant, bouncing round abroad earlier than he latched on with the Portland Path Blazers for the 2006-7 season as their beginning small ahead. Over the subsequent 4 seasons he performed with San Antonio and the Sacramento Kings.
Final summer season, he was a part of a wave of Black coaches employed to go teaching roles, together with a number of who, like him, had been assistants for a few years. The N.B.A. has lengthy been criticized for having largely white head coaches in a league largely with Black gamers.
In mid-January, Boston had a 21-22 report and was seemingly certain for an underwhelming season. However the Celtics gained 28 of their last 35 video games to shut out the common season and earn the No. 2 seed within the Japanese Convention. They swept the Nets within the first spherical of the playoffs, then eradicated the Milwaukee Bucks, who had been the defending champions. Within the Japanese Convention finals, Boston beat the Miami Warmth.
The journey to the N.B.A. finals was Boston’s first look since 2010. Udoka got here in fourth in voting for the Coach of the 12 months Award. Will Hardy, who was Udoka’s high assistant final season, was just lately employed because the Utah Jazz’s new coach.
Tania Ganguli contributed to this report.