Celtics Say Suspending Coach Ime Udoka Was a Matter of ‘Conscience’

Celtics Say Suspending Coach Ime Udoka Was a Matter of ‘Conscience’

BOSTON The Celtics’ decision to suspend Coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season came after a monthslong investigation into his conduct by an independent law firm, Wyc Grousbeck, the team’s majority owner, said at a news conference Friday.

Grousbeck cited “privacy reasons” in declining to elaborate on the nature of Udoka’s misconduct. A person briefed on the matter who was not authorized to speak publicly about it said Udoka had an inappropriate relationship with a female team employee.

“It’s a time of concern and reflection and action,” said Grousbeck, who was joined by Brad Stevens, the team’s president of basketball operations. “We have strong values at the Celtics, and we are doing our best to uphold them here.”

Grousbeck said he thought the suspension was “well-warranted and appropriate.” It will be unpaid.

“This felt right, but there’s no clear guidelines for any of this,” Grousbeck said. “This is really conscience and gut feel.”

Joe Mazzulla, one of Udoka’s assistants, will be the team’s interim coach this season, Stevens said.

Grousbeck said a decision on Udoka’s long-term future had not been made.

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