The Boston Celtics will head into the 2022-23 NBA season without Ime Udoka as their head coach. The team announced earlier this month that Udoka, who led the team to the NBA Finals last year, is suspended for the next year after reports came out that he engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a Celtics staffer.
It was a shocking turn of events, as Udoka was credited for playing a major role in the team’s turnaround last year, his first in charge in Boston. But ultimately, the team decided that his actions meant he could not be around any longer, and now, assistant coach Joe Mazzulla is at the helm.
There still remains the question of what other things factored into Boston’s decision, and on Friday, Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim Bontemps of ESPN added some clarification about “crude language” that Udoka used in his conversations with “a female subordinate prior to the start of an improper workplace relationship with the woman.”
Those investigative findings — which described verbiage on Udoka’s part that was deemed especially concerning coming from a workplace superior — contribute to what is likely a difficult pathway back to his reinstatement as Celtics coach in 2023, sources told ESPN.
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The power dynamic associated with a superior’s improper relationship with a staff member was the primary finding and policy violation in the law firm report commissioned by the Celtics and completed early last week, sources said.
ESPN went on to report that the team has no intention of standing in Udoka’s way if he decides to pursue other opportunities, and that as of right now, other teams are doing their due dilligence in the event they want to pursue adding Udoka to their staff.