Udoka suspended for ‘a number of’ coverage violations

BOSTON (AP) — The reigning Jap Convention champion Boston Celtics suspended coach Ime Udoka after a months-long investigation by an outdoor legislation agency that discovered a number of violations of crew insurance policies however didn’t level to a bigger cultural downside of sexual misconduct, proprietor Wyc Grousbeck mentioned Friday.

“We go to nice lengths … to run the group with the central core worth of respect and freedom within the office from harassment or any unwelcome consideration,” Grousbeck mentioned at a information convention. “This feels very a lot, to me, like considered one of a sort. That’s my private perception. However I’ll should confirm that.”

Neither Grousbeck nor president of basketball operations Brad Stevens would elaborate on the specifics of the violations or the personal report that was delivered to the crew two days in the past. However an individual with information of the matter, talking on the situation of anonymity as a result of the small print weren’t made public, advised The Related Press that it concerned an inappropriate relationship with a lady within the group.

Udoka’s a number of violations concerned one lady, a Celtics spokesman mentioned Friday. Nobody else within the group is going through self-discipline, Grousbeck mentioned, including that the crew will probably be vigilant to guarantee that Udoka’s actions aren’t a sign that there’s a bigger downside.

“I personally don’t consider that they’re a deeper sign,” Grousbeck mentioned. “However we will probably be — I will probably be, personally — speaking to members of the group to guarantee that that’s the case.”

A primary-year coach who’s three months faraway from a visit to the NBA Finals, Udoka was suspended lower than every week earlier than coaching camp was to open for a crew thought of among the many favorites to win all of it this season. Assistant Joe Mazzulla was elevated to interim coach via June 30, 2023; the Celtics say they haven’t determined about Udoka’s future past then.

Stevens grew emotional when discussing the impact the scandal has had on the crew — particularly the ladies who have been singled out on social media as probably being concerned. The crew reached out to staff to supply help.

“We have now plenty of proficient ladies in our group. I assumed yesterday was actually exhausting on them,” Stevens mentioned. “No one can management Twitter hypothesis, rampant (expletive), however I do suppose that we as a company have a accountability to verify we’re there to help them now. As a result of lots of people have been dragged unfairly into that.”

Grousbeck mentioned the crew realized of the issue earlier this summer time and instantly introduced in an outdoor legislation agency to analyze. After receiving the report, Grousbeck met with Udoka and he expressed “acceptance and appreciation for the way this has been dealt with.”

Grousbeck wouldn’t say whether or not the suspension was unpaid however confirmed that it comes with a “important monetary penalty.” A year-long suspension is unusual however not unprecedented for an expert sports activities coach, however the lack of public element about Udoka’s habits has led some — together with Celtics Corridor of Famer Paul Pierce — to query whether or not it was too extreme.

Grousbeck disagreed, and famous that Udoka accepted the punishment and apologized.

“I personally really feel that that is well-warranted and applicable, backed by substantial analysis and proof and info,” the proprietor mentioned. “It was clear that one thing substantial wanted to be accomplished. And it was.”

Mazzulla, 34, led West Virginia to a victory within the 2007 NIT match and an upset over ninth-ranked Duke within the subsequent 12 months’s NCAA’s. His solely head teaching expertise was a two-year stint from 2017-19 at Division II Fairmont State in West Virginia.

“Joe’s going to be in cost. It’s not straightforward timing for him or the remainder of the workers, however he’s an exceptionally sharp and proficient individual,” mentioned Stevens, who added that he gave no critical thought to stepping again onto the bench himself. “This will probably be an unbelievable problem, however I’m actually assured within the crew and the teaching workers that’s going to take the courtroom on Tuesday. It’s not what we anticipated to occur, however I’m very assured in them.”


AP Basketball Author Tim Reynolds in Miami contributed to this report.


Extra AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports