Celtics suspend coach Ime Udoka for 2022-23 season

BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Celtics have suspended coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season, effective immediately, and with no guarantee he will be back with the franchise in the future.

The Celtics announced Thursday night that Udoka has been suspended for “violating team policy.” Earlier Thursday, two people with knowledge of the matter said Udoka was sanctioned for having an inappropriate relationship with a member of the organization. These people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not publicly reveal that detail.

“A decision regarding his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date,” the Celtics said.

Udoka apologized in a statement released by ESPN, but did not provide details.

“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization and my family for letting them down. I’m sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation and I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I will not comment further,” he said.

One of the people who spoke to The AP said Celtics assistant coach Joe Mazzulla will take over on an interim basis.

It’s the second major disciplinary situation in as many weeks in the NBA, following Commissioner Adam Silver’s decision last week to suspend Robert Sarver — owner of the WNBA’s Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury — for a year and fine him 10 Millions of dollars to prove The investigation revealed his pattern of behavior in the workplace, including abusive and racist language. Sarver said on Wednesday he intends to sell his teams.

Reynolds reported from Miami.

This is an evolving story. Please check back for updates.