Ime Udoka guided the Boston Celtics to the NBA Finals in his first year as the team’s head coach.
Most expected him to simply pick up from where he left off come 2022-23. Unfortunately, it is increasingly looking like that will not be the case.
Late Wednesday evening a report emerged that the Celtics were preparing to discipline Udoka for an unspecified violation of team rules. Shortly thereafter, it came out that he allegedly had a romantic relationship with a female staffer.
It didn’t take long for everyone to figure out who.
With Udoka staring down the barrel of a lengthy suspension, eagle-eyed fans noticed that his longtime partner, beloved actress Nia Long, posted something of a cryptic message on Instagram:
Nia Long on IG earlier tonight: pic.twitter.com/7kti1xTonS
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) September 22, 2022
Obviously that video is open to interpretation, but it is difficult not to view it through the lens of what has transpired this week.
Across the web, many are still struggling with the idea that Udoka would cheat on Long. Her dancing videos from the playoffs really endeared her to fans.
The reactions are ones of incredulity:
How you fumble a 2-1 lead AND Nia Long in the same year…
— Joy De’Angela (@joydeangela) September 22, 2022
Wow Ime Udoka cheated on Nia Long this is why the heat are the real eastern conference champs of last season
— BISCAYNE BUCKETS 🐍 (@WadeBLVDszn) September 22, 2022
“My only regret was too young for Nia Long”
J Cole in her dms at 37 and also a baller. pic.twitter.com/KXlSINIm4U
— Edem ♻️ (@heyEdem) September 22, 2022
Big picture, it will be fascinating to see where things go from here.
Obviously Udoka is in a lot of trouble from both a personal and professional standpoint.
At least Ja’Marr Chase is winning off the field. https://t.co/DyslXCGYPN
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 21, 2022
But how much trouble, specifically?
An answer to that question should emerge in the coming days and weeks.