Just a few months after making a run to the NBA Finals, the Boston Celtics are now having to deal with a crisis before the start of training camp.
Due to his alleged sexual relationship with his fellow colleague, Celtics coach Ime Udoka has been given a full-season suspension from the team that will keep him out for the entirety of the 2022-23 campaign.
It's certainly a resounding statement from team President Brad Stevens, but not one that's entirely popular with the fans. Many have stood up for Udoka in recent days, and some have even advocated for his suspension to be lifted (Paul Pierce suggested a fine instead).
Ime Udoka Speaks Out For First Time Since Suspension
Whatever the case, Udoka himself seems to have come to peace with his current prognosis. In a statement issued after the news, he apologized to the fans and the team for his actions.
Statement from Ime Udoka: 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...
It remains to be seen who will take his place in the coaching chair this season, but it's no doubt a huge blow for a Celtics team with title aspirations. To make matters worse, some think there could be other elements at play here...
"I don’t like that being done to a brother because I got news for you, America, there’s plenty of white folks in professional sports that’s doing their thing, and I say that not complimentary, I don’t see the information out about them," said Stephen A. Smith on Udoka's suspension. "Why are we talking about this guy? It ain't none of our damn business. Unless you fire him, but if you keep him, it's not our business. It should've never been put out there by the Celtics organization. And don’t tell me you didn’t do it, cause you absolutely did."
Regardless of your thoughts on the situation, Udoka isn't the only one being hurt here. The team, and the fans, will ultimately be the ones to suffer.
Hopefully, the Celtics can pick a worthy coach to take the mantle from Udoka and carry the squad to success despite all the drama.