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Nia Long Says 'No One' from Celtics Contacted Her After Ime Udoka Suspension

Erin WalshDecember 1, 2022

Boston - June 16: Celtics head coach Ime Udoka (left) did not agree with a referee (right) in the second quarter. The Boston Celtics hosted the Golden State Warriors for Game Six of the NBA Finals at the TD Garden in Boston on June 17, 2022. (Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Ime Udoka's fiancée, actress Nia Long, is speaking out about his suspension from the Boston Celtics in September and how it has impacted their family since the news was made public just a few months ago.

In a recent interview with Brande Victorian of The Hollywood Reporter, Long slammed the Celtics organization for not reaching out to her following the news that Udoka had been suspended for "multiple violations of team policies."

Long told Victorian:

“I think the most heartbreaking thing about all of this was seeing my son’s face when the Boston Celtics organization decided to make a very private situation public. It was devastating, and it still is. He still has moments where it’s not easy for him. If you’re in the business of protecting women — I’m sorry, no one from the Celtics organization has even called to see if I’m OK, to see if my children are OK. It’s very disappointing.”

The Celtics announced on Sept. 22 that Udoka had been suspended for the entire 2022-23 season, citing violations of team policies. The organization added that a determination regarding his future with the franchise would be made "at a later date."

While the Celtics did not state what the violations were, The Athletic and Stadium's Shams Charania reported the 45-year-old allegedly had an "improper and consensual relationship" with a female staffer.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski added on Sept. 30 that the independent investigation into Udoka's relationship with the staff member revealed he "used crude language in his dialogue with a female subordinate prior to the start of an improper workplace relationship with the woman."

Long and Udoka began dating in 2009, got engaged in 2015 and have an 11-year-old son who they are currently "co-parenting," per Victorian. Long did not discuss the status of their relationship or Udoka's actions that led to the suspension.

Udoka is unlikely to return as head coach of the Celtics in 2023-24. Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe reported in November that the Celtics are "fully invested" in interim head coach Joe Mazzulla.

The Celtics hired Udoka ahead of the 2021-22 campaign after former president of basketball operations Danny Ainge parted ways with the organization and Brad Stevens was elevated from head coach to the team's lead front office position.

Boston went on to have a magical season, finishing first in the Eastern Conference with a 51-31 record and making a run to the NBA Finals, where it fell to the Golden State Warriors in six games.

However, Mazzulla's Celtics have been just as good, if not better in 2022-23.

The C's are first in the East with an 18-4 record, and they have the NBA's best offensive rating at 121.5. Led by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, Boston looks like it could make another run to the finals this season.

It only seems like a matter of time before interim is removed from Mazzulla's job title.