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Celtics droop head coach Ime Udoka for 2022-23 season for violating group insurance policies

BOSTON (AP) – The Boston Celtics have suspended coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season, efficient instantly, with no assure he will likely be again with the franchise.

“A choice on his future with the Celtics past this season will likely be made at a later date,” the Celtics stated.

Udoka, in a press release launched by ESPN, apologized however didn’t present particulars.

“I wish to apologize to our gamers, the followers, the whole Celtics group, and my household for letting them down. I apologize for placing the group on this tough state of affairs, and I settle for the group’s resolution. Out of respect for everybody concerned, I’ll haven’t any additional remark,” he stated.

One of many individuals who spoke to the AP stated Celtics assistant coach Joe Mazzulla will take over on an interim foundation.

Mazzulla interviewed for the Utah Jazz teaching job this summer time, a place that finally went to Will Hardy, one other of Udoka’s assistants in Boston final season. Udoka’s different assistant coaches had been Damon Stoudemire, Ben Sullivan, Aaron Miles and Tony Dobbins.

Udoka had a stellar first season with the Celtics, ending the common season at 51-31 – going 26-6 within the final 32 video games – and main Boston previous Brooklyn, Milwaukee and Miami en path to the NBA Finals. The Celtics misplaced the title sequence to the Golden State Warriors in six video games.

The lack of Udoka will likely be an enormous blow to a group that’s extremely regarded among the many favorites to contend for the NBA title this season.

The developments are paying homage to the shaking throughout the town again in 2020 when Purple Sox supervisor Alex Cora was suspended by Main League Baseball for a yr for his position in a sign-stealing scandal at his earlier job. the Houston Astros. As a substitute, the edges cut up.

After a last-place end below Ron Roenicke within the pandemic-shortened season, Cora was rehired a yr later and welcomed again.

It’s unclear whether or not Udoka will proceed on that path.

The 45-year-old Udoka spent most of his NBA profession with San Antonio, and continued his time with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich by becoming a member of his workers as an assistant Udoka was on the Spurs workers from 2012 to 2019, and it did not take lengthy to grow to be one of many names prone to seem on the quick record of candidates when head teaching jobs opened up.

He spent the 2019-20 season in Philadelphia, the 2020-21 season in Brooklyn, after which the Celtics employed him in June 2021 to exchange Brad Stevens – who moved to a front-office position.

“The longer term is vibrant and we’re simply getting began,” Udoka stated after the NBA Finals.

Perhaps not.

The Celtics will maintain a media day, a session the place coaches, gamers and executives meet with reporters, on Monday and open coaching camp on Tuesday. And the absence of Udoka – who was fourth within the NBA coach of the yr balloting final season – will overshadow what was purported to be the beginning of a season with excessive expectations.

It additionally provides to a sequence of main issues going through the membership going into the beginning of practices.

Boston made some huge strikes early within the offseason, buying Malcolm Brogdon in a commerce from Indiana to bolster an already robust backcourt, then including veteran ahead Danilo Gallinari as a free agent free of charge.

However final month, Gallinari tore the ACL in his left knee and will likely be out for the upcoming season. Middle Robert Williams, a key a part of Boston’s defensive scheme that performed via knee issues within the playoffs final season, continues to be coping with knee issues and isn’t anticipated to be prepared for the beginning of the season this.

The Celtics had been additionally talked about prominently in commerce hypothesis surrounding Brooklyn ahead Kevin Durant, a perennial All-Star who wished to be traded elsewhere by the Nets — then withdrew the t – request that after a number of weeks. It might have taken a big package deal of gamers, presumably together with Jaylen Brown, to land Durant, and the commerce speak seemingly left some questioning about their futures in Boston.

Mazzulla’s solely earlier expertise as a head coach was a two-year stint at Division II Fairmont State in West Virginia, the place he went 43-17 and made the NCAA match in his second season. Mazzulla – a New England native from Rhode Island – performed his school basketball at West Virginia, was an assistant for the G League Celtics earlier than taking up at Fairmont State, then was re-hired by the Celtics in June 2019 to be. as a part of the Stevens workers.

Mazzulla’s final sport at Fairmont State was in opposition to Mercyhurst. His first actual sport with the Celtics will likely be somewhat higher and he will likely be current – in opposition to Philadelphia, in Boston, on October 18 within the first sport of the brand new NBA season.

That is the second main disciplinary motion in as many weeks within the NBA, following Commissioner Adam Silver’s resolution final week to droop Robert Sarver – proprietor of the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury of the WNBA – for one yr and a $10 million effective after that. investigations confirmed a sample of disturbing habits within the office, together with abusive language and racism. Sarver stated Wednesday that he plans to promote his groups.

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