Ime Udoka's status as head coach of the Boston Celtics beyond the 2022-23 season is uncertain, but an NBA agent believes his career in the league as a whole is "done," per NBA insider Ethan Strauss.
The Celtics suspended Udoka for the entire 2022-23 season after a lengthy investigation by an independent law firm found that he had violated multiple team policies. The second-year head coach allegedly had an intimate relationship with a female member of Boston's staff.
The Celtics became aware of the relationship in July, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania, but the franchise did not get involved until he allegedly made "unwanted comments" to the woman in the relationship.
Udoka apologized in a statement after his suspension was announced:
"I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down. 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."
With Udoka suspended, Joe Mazzulla will serve as the team's interim head coach in 2022-23, president of basketball operations Brad Stevens confirmed during a press conference on Friday:
"Joe's going to be in charge. It's not an easy timing for him or the rest of the staff. But he's an exceptionally sharp and talented person. I believe strongly in him and his ability to lead people, his ability to galvanize a room and get behind him, and his ability to organize and understand all that comes with running a team during the season."
Mazzulla has served as an assistant for the Celtics since 2019. If Udoka does not return as Boston's head coach in 2023-24, it's unclear if Mazzulla will be considered for the team's vacant head coaching position.
The Celtics hired Udoka as their head coach before the 2021-22 campaign after Stevens was promoted to basketball operations. He led the team to a 51-31 record and an Eastern Conference title in his first season.