An investigation by an independent law firm commissioned by the Boston Celtics revealed that head coach Ime Udoka used rude language towards a female subordinate before engaging in an alleged inappropriate workplace relationship with her. according to Adrian Wojnarowski. Udoka was recently over what the team officially called “team policy violations”.
When the Celtics first learned of the relationship between Udoka and an employee in July, they were led to believe it was consensual, according to The Athletic. However, when the woman accused Udoka of sending unsolicited messages, the team set up an independent investigation.
The findings that caused the team to suspend Udoka for the entire season were a closely guarded secret. During a news conference on the matter on September 22, neither Celtics co-owner Vic Groesbeck nor President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens discussed the details. Same way,.
“The initial reaction was literally a state of shock,” said Marcus Smart. “We couldn’t believe what we were hearing, especially at the time we heard it right before Media Day. It strikes us from all sides. We’re trying to figure it out just like everyone else. Everyone was in the meeting, we wanted to know, and they told us what they knew, and we proceed from that. It is frustrating in every way not knowing, not understanding, because you don’t know. So just try to focus on the things you can control.”
Now we have more information. Udoka’s text contained language that “particularly referred to him coming from a workplace boss”, and according to Wojnarowski’s report, it would be difficult for him to ever return as the team’s coach. In addition to the words he used, the imbalance of power between him and the employee contributed to the suspension.
The Celtics named assistant head coach Joe Mazzulla as interim head coach. The 34-year-old has only three years of NBA coaching experience and is two years younger than veteran forward Al Horford. He also has a home battery charge on his resume from college in West Virginia. Stevens said he personally checked on Mazzulla for work when he was hired as an assistant in 2019, and Mazzulla spoke about the incident on media day.
“I made mistakes,” Mazzulla said. “I am not perfect. I hurt people and I had to use the situations I got into when I was young to learn and become better. That’s what I was trying to focus on. I am recreating my identity as a person, how can I rely on my faith, and how can I be a positive influence on the people around me.”
“I am no longer the person I was. As you grow as a person, you constantly have to shape your personality. I didn’t have a personality at a certain point in my life for some reason. How can I develop my personality, how can I find the foundation – which for me is my faith – and then how can I positively influence the people around me, and that’s something I’ve really learned throughout my life.”