Ime Udoka of the Boston Celtics could be banned for the whole season for an improper relationship.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reported early Thursday morning that Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka had an inappropriate and consensual relationship with a female member of the team staff. This is against the team's code of conduct.
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN first reported late Wednesday night that Udoka might get in trouble. He said that the length of the suspension hasn't been decided yet, but it could be for the whole 2022-23 season. As soon as Thursday morning, a decision could be made about how long the suspension will last.
The nature of the wrong relationship is still not clear, but Udoka, who is 45 years old, has been with actress Nia Long since 2010. The two of them have a child together.
Udoka was hired by Boston after working as an assistant coach for the Spurs for eight years under Gregg Popovich. He also had short stints with the 76ers and Nets. People thought he was one of the best coaches in the league.
If Udoka gets a long suspension, it would be bad news for the Celtics, who thought they had found their coach for now and the future in him. In Udoka's first season as head coach, the Celtics won the Eastern Conference and got to play the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals.
ESPN said that the Celtics' assistant coach, Joe Mazzulla, was in the running to be the interim coach.
The Udoka story was just one of many big NBA stories that came out that day.
First, Suns owner Robert Sarver, who was in trouble after an investigation into workplace misconduct claims against him and the team, said earlier Wednesday that he was selling the Suns and the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury.
Sarver was suspended for one season and given a $10 million fine. As people said that this wasn't enough of a punishment, Sarver decided to quit. Jahm Najafi, the vice chairman of the Suns, and Dan Schulman, the CEO of PayPal, both said they didn't want him to come back. LeBron James and Chris Paul have also said that the punishment wasn't harsh enough.
In other NBA news from Wednesday, Charania, who competes with Wojnarowski for stories, signed new contracts to stay with Sinclair-owned Stadium/Bally Sports and The Athletic.