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Woj: No 'Guarantees' for Celtics' Ime Udoka After Reported 1-Year Suspension

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IISeptember 22, 2022

Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images

There reportedly are "no guarantees" regarding Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka's future status following news from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that he will likely be suspended for the entire 2022-23 season because of a violation of organizational guidelines related to a "consensual relationship with a female staff member."

Wojnarowski made the remarks on SportsCenter Thursday:

"There's not going to be any guarantees after a year of what the future might look like for Udoka," Wojnarowski said in part (2:00 mark).

Udoka, 45, just finished his first season as the Celtics' head coach after spending nine years as an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets.

Boston won its first Eastern Conference title since 2010 under Udoka, who propelled the C's to a 26-6 regular-season finish en route to a second-place mark in the East standings.

Assistant coach Joe Mazzulla will "likely" take over as the team's interim head coach, per Wojnarowski.

Mazzulla, 34, joined the Celtics as an assistant in 2019 when Brad Stevens was still the head coach. Stevens has since moved into the front office to run basketball operations, but Mazzulla stayed on when Udoka came aboard.

Mazzulla was a head coach at Division II Fairmont State from 2017-19, compiling a 43-17 record and leading the team to the NCAA tournament in his second year. He was also as an assistant for the Celtics' G League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws (now Celtics), in 2016-17.

The opportunity is there for Mazzulla if he is in fact named the team's head coach. Even if Udoka comes back in 2023, Mazzulla could be auditioning for another head coaching job elsewhere in the league if he does well enough in Boston this year. And if Udoka doesn't come back, then he could be in line to lead the Celtics long term.

Boston opens the season on Oct. 18 against the Philadelphia 76ers.

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