The Boston Celtics announced this week that head coach Ime Udoka would be suspended for the entirety of the 2022-23 season.
Given that Udoka led his group to the NBA Finals in Year 1 of his reign, this most recent development will obviously have massive ramifications for the whole league.
Udoka’s crime was originally described as a “consensual” relationship with a female staffer. In the days since, troubling new details about the situation have emerged.
On Friday, a spicy new tidbit was added to the mix.
According to MTO, one of Nia Long’s friends is reportedly saying that a Celtics player may have been the one to out Udoka’s sordid affair.
“The friend told Media Take Out, ‘[Ime] has been going back and forth with [a player on the Celtics], and now this drops. It’s no coincidence.”
But that’s not all.
“The friend claims that Ime’s issues with the player – who played an integral part in the Celtics success last season – have been ongoing,” the report continued.
“The friend elaborated to Media Take Out, ‘Ime is about basketball, that’s what he lives for, and he pushes people. [The player] didn’t like Ime’s style and they butted heads.’”
Nothing specifically about the player’s identity is known, but he was described as someone “who is currently signed to a huge contract” and “will still be on the team” when Udoka’s one-year suspension is up.
This whole situation is obviously unfortunate and has a lot of layers. There is the professional side of things and Frank Vogel’s role in that. There is also the personal side, as evidenced by Long’s recent Instagram post on the topic. It’s all one giant mess.
In the coming weeks and months, clarity about what precisely Udoka did and to what extent will likely emerge.
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When it does, a better picture of what his future looks like will be painted.
Will Udoka ultimately ever serve as the Celtics’ head coach again?
Time will tell.
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