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Celtics suspend manager Ime Udoka for 2022-23 season for ‘violating team policy’

The Boston Celtics have suspended manager Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-23 season for “violating team policy,” the franchise announced Thursday. Udoka’s suspension will take effect immediately, and the Celtics will make a decision on Udoka’s future beyond this season at a later date.

Assistant coach Joe Mazzura will reportedly serve as interim coach. ESPNThe Celtics press release announcing Udoka’s suspension did not include any insight into who would take over the team.

Following Boston’s announcement, Udoka released a personal statement: “I want to apologize to the players, the fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down. We apologize for the inconvenience and will accept the decision of the team. Out of respect for all involved, we have no further comments.

The reason for Udoka’s suspension was an alleged consensual but inappropriate relationship with a team staff member. Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on Wednesday. Udoka said he was considering resigning. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustratedhowever, he reportedly decided not to resign.

Boston hired Udoka last June after Udoka’s predecessor, Brad Stevens, took over as team president. The Celtics started his 23-24 under Udoka but dominated the rest of his season as a regular, winning 28 of his 35 games in the final. They finished with his best defense in the NBA and advanced to his NBA Finals for the first time since 2010. Boston ultimately lost his 6th game to the Golden State Warriors.

Before joining the Celtics, Udoka spent nine seasons as an assistant coach for Gregg Popovich’s San Antonio Spurs seven-man staff before a yearlong stint with Brett Brown of the Philadelphia 76ers and Steve Nash of the Brooklyn Nets. was.

Mazura served as an assistant coach under Udoka and Stevens before being hired by then-President Danny Ainge in 2019. Earlier this offseason, he was interviewed for an open position as head coach of the Utah Jazz, eventually ending up with former Celtics assistant coach Will Hardy. He was promoted to a frontline role on the bench.

In 2013-14, Mazzurra began his coaching career as an assistant to Fairmont State. He left three years after he joined his G-League affiliate of the Celtics, then known as Maine His Reds His Close, where he joined for a year. He returned to Fairmont State University, where he coached for two years, leading the team to a record of 43-17, where he was eliminated in the first round at the 2019 NCAA Division II Tournament.

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