BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The Boston Celtics suspended head coach Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-23 season, but the team is reportedly letting him leave to take another head coaching job.
Udoka took Boston to the NBA finals last season, where the Celtics lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games. That playoff run started with a 4-0 sweep of the Nets. Now, Udoka is reportedly switching teams.
The Celtics said Udoka was suspended for “violations of team policies," which Associated Press sources said was an improper relationship with a member of the organization. In a statement published by ESPN at the time of his firing, Udoka apologized “to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down.”
“I am sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team’s decision,” Udoka said. “Out of respect for everyone involved, I will have no further comment.”
Udoka already has a connection to Brooklyn. Prior to last season, his first with the Celtics, he was an assistant coach for the Nets during the 2020-21 season.
The Nets started this season with a 2-5 record while the Celtics are off to a 4-2 start under interim head coach Joe Mazzulla. Brooklyn's season has not been drama-free, with the most recent controversy coming after starting point guard Kyrie Irving appeared to back an antisemitic film.
Nets owner Joe Tsai said Friday he was disappointed that Irving appeared to support a film "based on a book full of antisemitic disinformation." Irving posted a link for the film "Hebrews to Negroes: Wake Up Black America" on Twitter on Thursday. The synopsis on Amazon said the film "uncovers the true identity of the Children of Israel."