Celtics’ Ime Udoka is facing a one-year suspension for having an inappropriate relationship with a female employee, according to reports

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The Boston Celtics Coach Ime Udoka is likely to be suspended for the rest of the 2022-23 season, According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Udoka had an “inappropriate, intimate and consensual relationship” with a female employee that violated the team’s code of conduct, Athlete Shams Sarania It was announced late on Wednesday.

Assistant coach Joe Mazzula will be named interim coach. to ESPNAn announcement is expected soon on Thursday.

Practice suspensions are extremely rare in the NBA. Washington Wizards Assistant Mike Bautista was suspended two games last season for entering the stands, and Mike Budenholzer and Jason Kidd both received one-game suspensions for in-game conduct. A lengthy suspension for a coach, especially one imposed by a team, would be unprecedented.

Udoka took over the Celtics for the first time as a head coach last season, and despite a 23-24 start, led the team to an impressive 28-7 record and a berth in the NBA Finals. The Celtics came up short, but were projected to enter this season as the betting favorites to win the championship.

As Udoka’s status is unclear, that could easily change. It’s the latest issue for Boston in what has turned into a tumultuous offseason. Star forward Jaylen Brown has publicly commented on trade rumors surrounding him Brooklyn Nets The star is Kevin Durant. Free-agent signing Danilo Gallinari tore his ACL while playing for the Italian national team. Starting center Robert Williams III is recovering from knee surgery and is expected to miss training camp.

Now, the Celtics may be without their coach for a meaningful portion of the season. If he is suspended, Boston’s path to the Finals will become even more precarious.

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