When Boston Celtics head coach Ime suspended Udoka for the entirety of 2022-2023, the first reason given was that Udoka had violated team policy by entering into a consensual relationship with a Celtics staffer.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) September 23, 2022
That announcement caused many observers to cry, including former NBA player and ESPN analyst Matt Barnes, who said via social media the Celtics had made a “terrible decision”.
#ImeUdoka has been suspended for the entire season after it was revealed he had an “inappropriate intimate and consensual relationship with a female member of the team staff.” utilities #MattBarnes shares his opinion on the whole matter. Read more at https://t.co/NgmfaFQdbz pic.twitter.com/DaUG1J5IQ1
— Theeshaderoomed (@Theeshaderoomed) September 23, 2022
But today, team owner Wyc Grousbeck addressed the Udoka incident. According to The New York Times, Grousback told an unidentified person that Udoka had an “inappropriate relationship with a female team member”.
He added that the team hired an independent “lawyer’s office to conduct an impartial investigation” after learning of the allegations over the summer.
Grousbeck added that the suspension is “founded, appropriate and supported by substantial investigation and facts”. And it comes with a “significant financial penalty.”
A huge turnaround
The stunning reveal caused many, like Barnes, to do a pick and roll.
He took to Instagram tonight to air his thoughts and drop a few bombshells of his own.
“Last night, without knowing all the facts, I spoke about Ime Udoka’s defense, and after discovering the facts after speaking, I erased what I posted because this situation in Boston is deep, it’s messy, it is 100 times uglier than any of us thought,” barnes said:.
To add to the confusion, many have tried to identify the female reporter in question, leading to Amanda Pflugarda Celtics Team Reporter, to say the least.
“It’s disgusting to see the names of those uninvolved in the media, including mine, with such carelessness,” she tweeted.
— Amanda_Pflugrad (@Amanda_Pflugrad) September 23, 2022
Grousbeck also came to defend his employees.
“It is a real shame that female staff members have been unwittingly drugged in the public eye, and we regret this, and it is unfortunate. I will not refer to anyone else who could be involved for privacy reasons,” he said.
Who is Ime Udoka?
Udoka, 45, became head coach of the Celtics last year. After the team started the season under .500, Udoka turned things around that led them to the NBA Finals for the first time in 12 years. He is the fifth coach in the past 25 years to reach the NBA Finals in his rookie season.
As for the incident, Udoka has publicly apologized and said in a statement: “I am sorry to have put the team in this difficult situation and I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I will not comment further. to give.”
To complicate matters further, Udoka is engaged to actress Nia Long. The couple had a son together in 2011.
Asked to comment, Long . told People, “The outpouring of love and support from family, friends and the community during this difficult time means so much to me.”