Scandal in the NBA: the Boston Celtics suspend DT Ime Udoka for one year

The Boston Celtics, current runner-up in the NBA, suspended their coach Ime Udoka for the entire next season for “violating the internal rules” of the franchise.

The 45-year-old coach’s sanction is the product of an allegedly consensual relationship with a Celtics employee, a situation that violated the franchise’s code of conduct.

“I want to apologize to our players, the 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 decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I will not more comments,” said Udoka once the news was leaked.

Less than a month before the start of a new season (it starts on October 18), the NBA interrupted the peace of its long recess with the least striking decision of the Celtics: first there was talk of an economic sanction, after the resignation of the DT and finally the suspension for one year was chosen.

In the official statement from the green franchise, released after the news was known through the media, it was clarified that a “decision on Udoka’s future with the Celtics after this season will be made later.” Meanwhile, versions also emerged that the woman in question had recently accused Udoka of making inappropriate comments, which led to internal investigations of the franchise, according to the site. HoopsHype.

One possible reason for the Celtics’ preference for suspension over firing is that the coach doesn’t move to another franchise. According to the specialists who cover the American league, there would already be interest in the coach who in his first season in office reached the NBA Finals.

owner’s word

In the last hours one of the owners of the Boston franchise, Wyc Grousbeck, pointed out that Udoka’s suspension will come with a “substantial economic penalty” for the DT.

In addition, the stock trader referred to the curious decision to suspend it for a year: “We feel that it is the right thing to do, but there is no clear guide for something like this. I personally feel that the suspension is well justified and is supported by research and facts. substantial”.

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Grousbeck also made it clear that there was a “volume of violations” of the Celtics’ internal regulations by Udoka, while clarifying that the franchise’s decision was not behind the leak of the news.

The new DT and a violent background

Meanwhile, Boston announced that the interim coach will be Joe Mazzulla, just 34 years old, who last season was Udoka’s second assistant. It is that the main assistant, Will Hardy, became during the break the coach of the Utah Jazz, a team that has the Cordovan Leandro Bolmaro on its campus.

Before the election of the new DT, Mazzulla’s background came to light and one that became relevant was an episode that occurred when the now coach was in college, 13 years ago. There Mazzulla was arrested for violence for grabbing a woman by the throat in a bar, which sparked more criticism against the franchise.

On the matter, Brad Stevens, president of operations of the Celtics and exDT said: “When we were about to hire Mazzulla as an assistant, I thoroughly investigated the incidents from when he was in college. I firmly believe in Joe as a person. He has been very open with me. about how those incidents impacted him.

Udoka’s career

It is worth remembering that Ime Udoka is one of the many “disciples” of the emblematic Gregg Popovich, who directed him for three seasons in the San Antonio Spurs (between 2007 and 2011) and then had him as part of his coaching staff for seven years (between 2013 and 2019). The 1.98 meter former forward, a defensive specialist in his shorts days, also played in international basketball, both in the Spanish and French leagues and with the Nigerian National Team, despite being born in Portland, United States.

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