Ime Udoka not expected to resign in wake of Celtics scandal

Ime Udoka not expected to resign in wake of Celtics scandal

What’s going in Boston?

Celtics coach Ime Udoka will likely be suspended for the 2022-23 season, according to multiple reports, for his improper intimate and consensual affair with a female member of the team’s staff. Then, Sports Illustrated reported that the 45-year-old who led the Celtics to the NBA Finals last season was considering resigning in the wake of the scandal.

Not so fast.

It seems Udoka won’t be stepping down, after all, according to TNT’s Chris Haynes, who hours later reported that the embattled coach will not be resigning as he awaits sanction from the organization, according to league sources.

As if the whole situation wasn’t already messy enough.

Whether Udoka is suspended for the entire season or ultimately had left, it has already been a stunning turn of events for one of the league’s brightest young coaches. Had he resigned, though, the impact on Boston, which has yet to even comment, would have been franchise shattering. Last season, the Celtics reached the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010 in what was Udoka’s first season as a head coach anywhere.

Ime Udoka is expected to be suspended for a year from the Celtics because of an improper relationship with a member of the organization.
Ime Udoka is expected to be suspended for a year from the Celtics because of an improper relationship with a member of the organization.
AP

Prior to joining Boston, he was an assistant for nine years, his first seven under the Spurs’ Gregg Popovich, followed by a year each as part of Brett Brown’s staff with the Sixers and then Steve Nash’s with the Nets.

In June of 2021, the Celtics hired Udoka after Brad Stevens moved from the bench to the front office as team president. Though Boston was one game under .500 in Udoka’s first 47 games, the team caught fire, winning 28 of its final 35 games in the regular season thanks in large part to what ended up being the league’s best defense, led by Marcus Smart. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown also blossomed under Udoka.

The Celtics eventually made it to the Finals, losing in six games to the Warriors.

Had Udoka, who has been in a relationship with actress Nia Long since 2010, resigned following the news of the affair, though, it would have been a major setback for the franchise. In his absence, it is expected current assistant Joe Mazzulla will take over as the interim head coach.

Still, the Celtics will be without the coach who guided them to the precipice of what would have been their first title since 2008 — for how long exactly remains to be seen.