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Joe Mazzulla Likely to Coach Celtics If Ime Udoka Is Suspended, per Report

ESPN reported that Ime Udoka will likely be suspended for the 2022–23 season for a having a consensual relationship with a woman on the Celtics staff and now it appears one of his assistants will have to step up into his role.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, assistant Joe Mazzulla is likely to become Boston’s interim coach for the season. Mazzulla has never held a head-coaching job in the NBA before, but he had stints as an assistant at Glenville State, Fairmont State and the Maine Red Claws. He was head coach at Fairmont from 2017 to ’19 until he was offered a job on Boston’s bench.

Udoka’s former top assistant coach, Will Hardy, left the team in June to take the Jazz coaching job. Mazzulla, 34, will temporarily inherit one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference that features one of the most promising young cores in the NBA. 

Last year, Udoka led the Celtics to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and an appearance in the NBA Finals but were defeated by the Warriors in six games.