The Celtics have made it official and suspended Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season. His suspension takes effect immediately. In their press release, the organization announces that beyond this season, they'll decide Udoka's future with the franchise at a later date.
Udoka reportedly had an improper intimate and consensual relationship with a female staff member. Even with this decision, there's a distinct possibility he's coached his last game for Boston. However, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Udoka does not plan to resign.
Udoka expressed the following in a message conveyed by ESPN's Malika Andrews.
In Udoka's absence, Joe Mazzulla becomes Boston's interim head coach for the coming campaign. The original plan was for him to replace top assistant Will Hardy after the latter left to become the head coach of the Jazz.
During the NBA Finals, Jayson Tatum spoke to Mazzulla's growth as a coach and the bond the two have built.
"I love Joe. I think just being around him for the last, I think this is his third year, maybe second or third year, you can tell how passionate he is about the guys and his craft. And he's gotten so much more knowledgeable, and more detailed, and more vocal and more comfortable in his role as a coach. You've seen the growth from his first year, and he's helped me out tremendously as a player and a person. So, (I) can't say enough good things about Joe, and everybody appreciates what he brings to this team, and I'm glad that we have him."
Boston might also add a veteran coach to their staff. As Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix pointed out, Brad Stevens has a long-standing relationship with Frank Vogel, who was head coach of the Lakers when they won the NBA title in the bubble in 2020.
Vogel began his career as the Celtics' head video coordinator, then joined Boston's coaching staff as an assistant in 2001, spending three years in that role.
Celtics media day is on Monday, and training camp begins on Tuesday.