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Celtics suspend head coach Ime Udoka for 2022-23 NBA season

The reigning Eastern Conference champion coach is out for the upcoming year.

Update, Sept. 23 — There’s been further reporting on Udoka’s suspension from multiple media outlets, and the description of the alleged relationship being “consensual” is coming into question. Shams Charania of The Athletic reports the staffer involved reported Udoka for making unwanted comments towards her, while Yahoo! reports the Celtics launched an internal review of Udoka when this happened. It’s clear there’s a bit more to this story than a consensual relationship gone wrong, and Udoka is suspended for the 2022-23 season as a result. The Celtics, according to Chris Haynes, have not made a decision on Udoka beyond this season will be made at a later date.

Update, Sept. 22 — It’s now official. Ime Udoka has been suspended for the entire 2022-23 NBA season. This might not have a dramatic effect on Boston’s win total and odds at winning the title on DraftKings Sportsbook, but that locker room has a history of issues. With Udoka out, those chemistry problems could surface once again as this team looks to make it back to the NBA Finals.

Update, Sept. 22 — Udoka is facing a suspension of the entire season and it looks like he had an intimate relationship with a team staff member, violating Celtics’ policies, per reports. Joe Mazzula, the former West Virginia basketball great, would likely take over as head coach if Udoka is suspended the entire 2022-23 season.

According to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, Udoka has considered the idea of resigning as head coach of the Celtics. For now, it looks like he’ll serve at least a season suspension and Boston will proceed from there.

Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka could be facing a lengthy suspension due to a violation of team guidelines, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported late Wednesday night. The violation is unspecified and it’s never a good thing when Woj is reporting this type of news this late at night. It’s super vague but it sounds like Udoka will at least be looking a missing a good chunk of games heading into 2022-23.

NBA teams have opened training camp and preseason games start as early as late next week. The Celtics open the preseason against the Charlotte Hornets on Oct. 2. Boston is the reigning Eastern Conference champions having lost to the Golden State Warriors in the 2022 NBA Finals in six games. The Celtics begin the regular season on Oct. 18 against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Udoka went 51-31 during his first season with the Celtics. He was hired after spending time with the San Antonio Spurs, Brooklyn Nets and Sixers as an assistant coach.