THE Boston Celtics hierarchy were made aware of Ime Udoka’s alleged affair with a staffer earlier this summer, owner Wyc Grousbeck has revealed.
Udoka, 45, is engaged to actress Nia Long and has been slapped with a season-long suspension by the organization.
Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck chaired a solemn press conference on Friday[/caption]
Ime Udoka had an alleged affair with a Celtics staffer[/caption]
The NBA coach is engaged to actress Nia Long[/caption]
Both his relationship and career are now in jeopardy over his alleged infidelities, as first reported by The Athletic.
Groesbeck chaired a solemn press conference in Boston on Friday, revealing the team brought in a law firm to investigate after first being made aware of the allegations.
He said: “We learned sometime over the summer that there was a situation and called in a law firm at that point.
“The investigation had twists and turns, and took some time to develop all the facts.
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“It finally concluded and everything we know..it was wrapped up two days ago [Wednesday, September 21].”
He would not comment on specifics, confirming Udoka’s ban will run through to June 30, 2023 – but could be extended.
Groesbeck called the suspension “well-warranted and appropriate”.
He continued: “This felt right, but there’s no clear guidelines for any of this.
“This is really conscience and gut feel.”
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Assistant Joe Mazzulla will lead the team as interim coach for the season.
The law firm hired to probe the allegations concluded their investigation on Wednesday with the story becoming public shortly afterward.
According to TMZ, Udoka had not informed his partner Long of the allegations and the pair had been house-hunting earlier this month in the Boston area.
She was reportedly blindsided by the news and unaware of the lengthy probe into her partner’s alleged affair.
Udoka issued a brief statement on September 22, saying: “I want to apologize 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.
“Out of respect for everyone involved, I will have no further comment.”
While Long – who got engaged to Udoka in 2015 and shares a son with him – issued a statement via TMZ through her spokeswoman.
It read: “The outpouring of love and support from family, friends and the community during this difficult time means so much to me.
“I ask that my privacy be respected as I process the recent events.
“Above all, I am a mother and will continue to focus on my children.”
A former NBA player, Udoka joined the Celtics as head coach in 2021 after spells as an assistant with the Spurs, Nets and 76ers.
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He led Boston to the NBA Finals against Golden State Warriors, with his team going down in six.
Udoka is just the fifth coach in the past 25 years to reach the Finals in his first season as a head coach.