The Boston Celtics have suspended coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season, the team announced Thursday night.
The Celtics cited violations of team policies in their announcement. Sources previously told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Udoka had an intimate relationship with a female member of the franchise’s staff.
The suspension is effective immediately, and a decision about Udoka’s future with the organization will be made later, the team said.
“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down,” Udoka said in a statement to ESPN’s Malika Andrews. “I am sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I will have no further comment.”
The season-long suspension is largely unprecedented for a sitting head coach in the NBA.
The Celtics have made assistant coach Joe Mazzulla the interim head coach, sources told Wojnarowski. Udoka’s top assistant coach, Will Hardy, left the team in June to become coach of the Utah Jazz.