The Boston Celtics have suspended head coach Ime Udoka one year for violations of team policies, it was announced Friday.
The Celtics say that his future beyond the 2022-23 season will be decided at a later date.
ESPN reported earlier this week that the Celtics were planning to suspend their head coach for his role in an intimate consensual relationship with a member of the franchise’s staff.
Assistant coach Joe Mazzulla will serve as interim head coach for the 2022-23 season, according to a report by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Udoka took over as Celtics coach last summer, replacing Brad Stevens after he moved into a front-office role previously held by Danny Ainge, who is now with the Utah Jazz.
Udoka led the Celtics to their best season in years in 2021-22. Boston went 51-31 during the regular season to win the Atlantic Division and advanced all the way to the NBA Finals, where they fell to the Golden State Warriors in six games. It was the first time the Celtics had been back to the Finals since losing in Game 7 to the Kobe Bryant-led Los Angeles Lakers in 2010.
As a player, Udoka spent seven seasons in the NBA for five different teams, including three years with the San Antonio Spurs.
In 316 career NBA games, Udoka averaged 5.2 points and 2.9 rebounds.
After he retired from the NBA with the Spurs in 2011, Udoka joined Gregg Popovich’s staff as an assistant coach the year after and spent seven seasons on the Spurs’ bench. Udoka moved to an assistant coach role with the Philadelphia 76ers during the 2019-20 season and then spent the following season as an assistant with Brooklyn before getting the Celtics job.