Celtics suspend Head Coach Ime Udoka for 2022-23 season

The Boston Celtics have announced that Head Coach Ime Udoka has been suspended for the entirety of the 2022-23 season.

The team released a brief statement Thursday night that read:

The Boston Celtics announced today that the team has suspended Head Coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season for violations of team policies. A decision about his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date. The suspension takes effect immediately. 

Circulated by ESPN’s Malika Andrews, Udoka also issued a statement Thursday night:

“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.”

Both ESPN and the Boston Globe reported that the head coach was facing a “significant suspension” for violating team policy.

ESPN reported that a source said it was because of an “intimate relationship with a female member of the franchise staff … The relationship is considered a violation of the organization’s guidelines, and the proposed penalty for Udoka is largely unprecedented for a sitting head coach in the NBA.”

The 45-year-old coach is not married, but is engaged to 51-year-old actress Nia Long, both of whom have been in a relationship for more than 10 years.

Udoka’s likely replacement as interim head coach is current-assistant coach, Joe Mazzulla.

This is a developing story; stay with 7NEWS on-air and online for the latest updates.