Celtics coach Udoka banned from NBA for season

The Boston Celtics on Thursday suspended coach Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-23 NBA season due to “violations of team policies.”

“A decision regarding his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date,” the franchise said in a statement. “The suspension takes effect immediately.”

ESPN and The Athletic reported earlier Thursday that the 45-year-old coach allegedly had a “consensual and intimate” affair with a member of his staff in violation of franchise regulations and code of conduct.

The Celtics did not specify what the alleged violations were.

The punishment, one of the toughest ever imposed on an NBA head coach, comes as the Celtics’ preseason training camp is set to begin next week.

Udoka passed through San Antonio, Philadelphia and Brooklyn as an assistant coach before taking charge of the Celtics in June 2021 and having an impressive first season.

Boston finished last season on a 28-7 streak and cruised through the Eastern Conference to reach the NBA Finals last June for the first time since 2010.

In a statement obtained by ESPN, Udoka said he accepted the Celtics’ decision.

“I want to apologize to our players, our fans, the entire Celtics structure and my family for letting them down,” he said. “I’m sorry to put the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team’s decision.”

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