Controversy continues to swirl around major NBA figures tonight as major media outlets have reported that Boston Celtics Head Coach Ime Udoka is facing disciplinary action for an intimate relationship with a member of his team’s staff. The relationship has been described as consensual, but many organizations prohibit intimacy between co-workers. If the staff member was in Udoka’s direct chain of command, further ethical issues arise. For now, the matter has been deemed a code of conduct violation.
Adrian Wojnarowski broke the news, albeit without detail, via Twitter:
ESPN Sources: Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka is facing possible disciplinary action – including a significant suspension – for an unspecified violation of organizational guidelines. Discussions are ongoing within the Celtics on a final determination.
Shams Charania of The Athletic followed with specifications about the cause:
Celtics coach Ime Udoka had an improper intimate and consensual relationship with a female member of the team staff, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. It’s been deemed a violation of franchise’s code of conduct.
Udoka was hired last summer as Boston’s head coach, replacing Brad Stevens, who moved upstairs to the General Manager position. Udoka helped his new team to the NBA Finals in his first year, succumbing to the Golden State Warriors in the championship round.
Udoka also played 75 games for the Portland Trail Blazers during the 2006-07 season.
Udoka has been engaged to actress Nia Long for over a decade. The two have a son together but they have not formally wed.
In a follow-up article, Wojnarowski writes that, though the infraction is not expected to cost Udoka his job, a significant suspension is in the offing:
The relationship was considered a violation of the organization’s guidelines, and a decision on the length of that suspension is expected to come as soon as Thursday, sources said. No final decision has been made, but internal discussions have included scenarios that would keep Udoka out for the entirety of the 2022-23 season, sources said.
More as the story develops.