Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka suspended for entire NBA season

The team added that a decision on Udoka’s future with the Celtics will be made at a later date. His suspension took effect immediately.

According to ESPN, The Athletic and the Boston Globe, Udoka had a consensual relationship with a female staff member at the team.

“I’m sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team’s decision,” Udoka told ESPN in a statement in which he apologized to players, fans, of the organization and his family.

CNN has contacted the Celtics for further comment.

Udoka took over from Brad Stevens as the team’s head coach ahead of the 2021-22 NBA season and coached the Celtics to their first NBA Finals appearance since 2010, where they lost 4-2 to the Golden State Warriors.

On Friday, Celtics owner Wycliffe “Wyc” Grousbeck and president of basketball operations Brad Stevens spoke to the media to discuss Udoka’s suspension.

Grousbeck explained that the decision to suspend Udoka was made after the organization engaged a “respected law firm to conduct an impartial investigation” after learning of the allegations over the summer.

Grousbeck said he believed the one-season suspension – which would come with a “significant financial penalty”, according to the owner – was “well justified and appropriate and supported by substantial research and facts”.

He added: ‘I personally said this to myself in a private conversation, the general theme was – I would say – acceptance and appreciation for how this has been handled.

Grousbeck also explained that the players are “very concerned” after discussions with them. “It’s not a welcome development, but they also have, in my view, the energy, the focus, the commitment and the motivation to really achieve great things this season.”

Stevens choked up on the impact the news has had on women in the organization, saying, “We have a lot of talented women in our organization.

“I thought yesterday was really tough for them. No one can control the speculation on Twitter – rampant bulls**t. As an organization we have a responsibility to make sure we support them now because a lot of people were dragged unfairly.”

Gary Washburn, national basketball writer for the Boston Globe, told John Berman and Brianna Keilar on CNN’s New Day that Udoka may never coach the Celtics again.

“It could have been something that was in his contract,” Washburn said. “You know, ‘You are not able to relate to members of organizations, especially those under your command.’ So unfortunately for Coach Udoka, he broke those laws, broke those rules and now he’s not unemployed, but he’s as close to unemployment as you can get.

“He’ll be suspended for a year and the organization hasn’t promised he’ll be back in 2023-24. They said they’ll review him then, so he may never coach the Boston Celtics again.”

The Celtics will begin their season on October 18 against the Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden in Boston. NBA training camps open next week with the first preseason games scheduled within a week from Friday.

CNN’s Jacob Lev and Homero De la Fuente contributed to this report.