Boston Celtics: Head coach Ime Udoka suspended for upcoming season

Jimmy Golen and Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press

The Boston Celtics suspended head coach Ime Udoka for the upcoming season on Thursday night, citing violations of club policies.

The suspension takes effect immediately.

“A decision will be made later on his future with the Celtics beyond the season,” the club said in a statement.

Earlier Thursday, two sources with knowledge of the matter said Udoka would be punished for an inappropriate relationship with someone employed by the organization.

These people spoke anonymously, as the team did not offer details publicly.

Udoka apologized in a statement released by ESPN.

“I want to apologize to the players, the fans, the entire Celtics organization and my family for letting them down,” Udoka said.

“I’m sorry to put the team in such a situation and I accept the club’s decision. Out of respect to everyone involved, I will not comment further.”

One of the sources told The Associated Press that Deputy Joe Mazzulla will lead the team on an interim basis.

Champions of the East last season, the Celtics were beaten in six games in the NBA Finals by the Golden State Warriors.

It was Udoka’s first season at the helm of the Celtics.

The 45-year-old has had an assistant role with San Antonio, Philadelphia and Brooklyn.

This is a severe thunderbolt for Boston, four days before team media day.

The Celtics’ preseason schedule includes two games against the Toronto Raptors, including the one in Montreal on October 14. Toronto will play Boston on October 5.

The Celtics’ regular season kicks off Oct. 18 at home against the 76ers.


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