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Why was Ime Udoka suspended by the Celtics earlier this season?

From a year-long suspension and inappropriate conduct toward a female employee to the possible new Brooklyn Nets head coach? Where’s Ime Udoka going next?

From a year long suspension, to details involving his inappropriate conduct toward a female employee. Why did the Ime Udoka saga end?
Scott TaetschGetty Images

In an unfortunate and shocking situation, the Celtics players found themselves without a head coach earlier in September.

As details continued to emerge about the reasons behind the season-long suspension of Ime Udoka, the players learned that their head coach engaged in crude language towards a female employee.

The initial reports suggested that the American-Nigerian was suspended for the duration of the 2022-23 NBA season, due to what was understood to be a consensual relationship with the woman in question. “Violations of team policies,” was the term used at the time by the Celtics to describe the reason for Udoka’s suspension.

We later understood that the female employee accused Udoka of sending unwanted messages - which led to the investigation in the first place. The franchise itself has been extremely tight lipped about details throughout the whole time, and up to date. Indeed, even the players themselves have admitted that they remain largely in the dark. Perhaps, until now.

What do we know about Ime Udoka’s messages?

While there aren’t a ton of details in the report, what we can understand is that Udoka’s text messages contained language that was “especially concerning coming from a workplace superior” and will make it difficult for him to ever return as the team’s coach. In addition to the words he used, the power imbalance between himself and the staff member contributed to the suspension.” To be clear here, there has been no official statement from the franchise to indicate that Ime Udoka has been fired, however, in light of recent news, it may well be that this saga ends with that exact outcome.

Now, and only two months later from the time of the incident, another team is looking to get Udoka off the sidelines.

Related: Ime Udoka, replacement for Steve Nash on Nets?

Brooklyn Nets to hire Udoka?

After a rough 2-5 start to the season, the Brooklyn Nets have relieved head coach Steve Nash of his duties, and after a very public outburst that caused him to be ejected from a game. While Assistant Jacque Vaughn will serve as interim head coach until they find a replacement, Udoka’s name has been floating around the league as the one who might take Nash’s place.


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