of Boston Celtics The referees announced on Thursday that they have suspended coach Ime Udokan for the 2022-23 season for “breach of team policies”. Udoka’s suspension is effective immediately, and the Celtics will make a decision on his future sometime after this season.

Assistant coach Joe Mazzula will serve as interim coach. ESPN. Celtic’s press release announcing Udoka’s suspension did not contain any indication of who would take over the team.

Udoka released a personal statement following Boston’s announcement: “I want to apologize to our players, our fans, the entire Celtics organization and my family for the disappointment they have caused.” I apologize for putting the team through this difficult situation and accept the team’s decision out of respect for all involved and have no further comment.”

The reason for Udoka’s suspension is that he agreed with the team member but it was an inappropriate relationship. Athletic Shams Charania He reported on Wednesday. Udoka was thinking of resigning, he said. Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated; However, he reportedly decided not to resign.

Boston hired Udoka last June after Udoka’s predecessor, Brad Stevens, took over as team president. The Celtics started 23-24 under Udoka, but won 28 of their last 35 games and dominated the rest of the regular season. They advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010 with the best defense in the NBA. Boston eventually lost at home. Golden State Warriors in six games.

Prior to joining the Celtics, Udoka was an assistant coach for Gregg Popovich for nine seasons, spending seven games. San Antonio Spurs Crew a year ago with Brett Brown Philadelphia 76ers And Steve Nash on Brooklyn Nets.

Mazula was an assistant coach under Udoka and Stevens, who was hired by then-president Danny Ainge in 2019. Earlier this season, B Utah JazzThe vacant head coaching position, which eventually went to Celtics assistant coach Will Hardy. Later, Boston promoted Mazzula to a role in front of the bench, as in 2010 Boston Globe.

Mazula began his coaching career as an assistant at Fairmont State in 2013-14. After three years, he left and joined the Celtics’ G League affiliate, then known as the Maine Red Claws, for one year. He returned to Fairmont State where he led the team to a 43-17 record and a first-round appearance in the 2019 NCAA Division II Tournament for two years as coach.

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