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Report: Celtics' Ime Udoka Accused of Making Unwanted Comments Toward Female Staffer

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 23, 2022

Ime Udoka (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka was reportedly accused of making "unwanted comments" toward a female staff member, which led to the internal investigation that resulted in his full-season suspension announced Thursday.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported some Celtics executives found out about the relationship in July and believed it was consensual, but the unnamed woman's accusation Udoka had made unwanted comments toward her led the team to investigate their relationship.

Udoka released a statement to ESPN's Malika Andrews after the suspension was announced.

"I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down," he said. "I am sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team's decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I will have no further comment."

The Celtics' announcement noted his future with the franchise beyond the 2022-23 season would be decided "at a later date."

Assistant coach Joe Mazzulla will take over the staff on an interim basis, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Udoka is a former NBA forward who switched to coaching in 2012 after his on-court retirement. He spent time as an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets before getting his first head coaching opportunity with Boston.

He guided the Celtics to an appearance in the NBA Finals during his first year in charge after the team posted a 51-31 record in the regular season. The C's came up short against the Golden State Warriors in the Finals, losing in six games.

No further information about the organization's internal investigation was immediately released.

The Celtics will open the regular season Oct. 18 when they welcome the Philadelphia 76ers to TD Garden.

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