Celtics' Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown Discuss Ime Udoka's Season-Long Suspension

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 26, 2022

CANTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 26: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics addresses the media during Boston Celtics Media Day at High Output Studios on September 26, 2022 in Canton, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)
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Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka was suspended for the entire 2022-23 season after violating team policies, reportedly having an intimate relationship with a female employee of the organization.

On Monday at the team's media day, stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown discussed the situation.

"I guess I feel like everybody else. It's a lot to process," Tatum told reporters. "Unexpected especially coming into the season when you feel a certain way, coming off last year that you're excited and trying to do all these things. It's just a lot, if I'm being honest, and along with everybody else still trying to process it all knowing that we start practice tomorrow."

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"It's just a lot. If I'm being honest... you're still trying to process it all knowing we start practice tomorrow." <br><br>Jayson Tatum reacts to Ime Udoka suspension <a href="https://t.co/0GYY4wKfC7">pic.twitter.com/0GYY4wKfC7</a>

He added he didn't have much more insight on the situation than the public.

"You read the statement, you watch the press conference, apparently there are a lot of things they can't speak about," he told reporters. "I’m kind of in the same boat. I don't know. It's hard for me to answer if things were handled in the right way or they weren't. ... I just don't know."

He also said he found out "on Twitter, like everybody else," and hasn't spoken with Udoka in the aftermath of the suspension.

Brown also said he hasn't spoken to Udoka.

"No conversations as far as me on my end," he told reporters. "Initial reactions, we were all shocked what was going on, a little confused, but a lot of the information wasn't being shared with us or members of the team, so you can't really comment on it."

"I wish we had more details," he added. "From what we know, it's hard to make a decision based on whether it's consensual or not in the workplace, which we know has happened before in the workplace. It looks like there is more to it than what meets the eye."

Both Tatum and Brown expressed optimism about the upcoming season under new head coach Joe Mazzulla, however:

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Jayson Tatum when asked if the Celtics can get back to the Finals and win a championship this season: “Absolutely I believe that, and I think everybody else in the locker room does as well.”

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As for Joe Mazzulla, Tatum says the team is comfortable with him. “That’s someone we are familiar with and have a lot of respect for.”

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Jaylen Brown said the best thing for the team is to move on and focus on what’s ahead. As for Joe Mazzulla, Brown said he’s “optimistic.” He said Mazzulla believes in him, that he believes in Mazzulla and that he doesn’t “see a limit on my game.”

The Celtics reached the NBA Finals last season, losing to the Golden State Warriors in six games, and will be one of the favorites yet again in a loaded Eastern Conference.

There's no doubt that training camp will open with a certain level of uncertainty about the upcoming season given the nature of Udoka's suspension, however.