The Boston Celtics announced this week that head coach Ime Udoka would be suspended for the entirety of the team’s 2022-23 NBA season.
Given that this group is coming off an NBA Finals appearance, in Udoka’s first year no less, the move will have massive ramifications for the league as a whole.
Initially when reports about Udoka’s scandal surfaced, they all referenced a “consensual” relationship between him and a staffer. Many immediately questioned why he would be subject to such a long and brutal punishment if that was the core issue here.
Late Thursday evening, an answer emerged.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the romance at the center of all this was more complicated than many initially realized.
“Some members of the Celtics organization first became aware of the relationship in July, sources said. At that time, team leadership was led to believe by both parties that the relationship was consensual,” Charania noted.
“But sources said that the woman recently accused Udoka of making unwanted comments toward her — leading the team to launch a set of internal interviews.”
What does this mean for Udoka’s future? ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski provided that answer.
“In talking to some other organizations today, he may become a candidate or a coach of interest for other jobs that might open or might become open during the season or certainly next season.”@wojespn on Ime Udoka’s coaching future in the NBApic.twitter.com/jdEcEmazUf
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) September 23, 2022
“Ime Udoka was not given any assurance that he would ever coach the Celtics again, but what it does open up the door for, and certainly in talking to some other organizations today, he may become a candidate or a coach of interest for other jobs that might open or might become open during the season or certainly next season,” Wojnarowski reported.
Yikes. Based on that report, it seems like as additional information comes to light, it wouldn’t really shock insiders to see Udoka depart Boston sooner rather than later.
That said, it also seems like Wojnarowski is fairly convinced that Udoka will bounce back from this – somewhere.
“The final chapter of Udoka’s coaching career has not been written,” he added. “This is not going to be a death knell for him.”
Now that Udoka’s punishment has been handed down, further dominos will drop. Frank Vogel’s role in all this remains fascinating. Time will tell what happens there.
Likewise, there will be some ramifications here for Udoka on the home front. His partner Nia Long’s Instagram message in the aftermath speaks for itself.
Udoka is a very good coach, but he messed up bad here. For that he will have to pay the price.
The Miami Dolphins continue to impress. https://t.co/WmXGbmjlgv
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 22, 2022
Will the Celtics ultimately fire him after he serves his bid this season?
Time will tell.