Boston Celtics executives said at a news conference Friday that coach Aimee Odoka was suspended for a season after an investigation by a law firm that discovered the “magnitude of violations” of team policy, but they did not provide details despite a report that the ban came after he made unsolicited comments. towards an employee.
Team owner Wes Grosbeek said Odoka also faces a “significant financial penalty” but it is not clear if the suspension will not be paid.
Grosbeek added that no decision had been made about Odoka’s long-term future with the organisation, saying “there are no clear guidelines for any of this.”
Reports surfaced earlier this week that the Celtics were considering an important suspension for Udoka due to an intimate, consensual relationship he had with a female employee, but the Athletic Club later reported that a woman told the organization that Udoka had been making unsolicited comments toward her.
Brad Stevens, head of basketball operations, briefly became emotional as he criticized several rumors that have surfaced online this week misidentifying women in the organization as having an affair with Odoka, saying “a lot of people have been unfairly dragged into it.” “.
Grosbeek said Udoka “accepted” the suspension after discussions with team management.
“I think it’s justified and appropriate,” Grosbeek said of the comment.
Odoka’s suspension shocked NBA watchers after leading the Celtics to the NBA Finals last season, his first training as a coach. Reaching the Finals represented a huge turnaround in the team’s fortunes, having been knocked out in the first round of playoffs in 2021. It was the first Finals appearance for the Celtics since 2010.
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The Celtics have confirmed that assistant coach Joe Mazzola will take over as interim coach for the 2022-23 season.
Actress Nia Long, Odoka’s longtime fiancée, made her first public comments after the allegations in a statement released to People Friday, saying, “I ask that my privacy be respected while addressing recent events. Above all, I am a mother and will continue to focus on my children.”
Boston Celtics suspend coach Odoka for one season over his relationship with Staver (Forbes)
Celtics suspend Ime Udoka for 2022-23 season; Coach’s future with Boston in question (Athletic)