Boston Celtics: New details from Friday’s Ime Udoka press conference

The outcry from the public was damning (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
The outcry from the public was damning (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Boston Celtics held a press conference Friday following the announcement that they’d be suspending head coach Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-23 NBA season. In a statement released Thursday, the team didn’t say much other than that Udoka violated team guidelines. Reports from ESPN’s Adrian Wojornowski and the Athletic’s Shams Charania, spanning from the night before and throughout the day had indicated that Udoka had consensual relations with a female member of the organization.

Owner Wyc Grousbeck was joined by President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens to address the media the following day. Grousbeck opened the press conference with a series of notes, reiterating what had been said in the team’s statement. he added that the team wouldn’t be releasing any new information Friday. However, throughout the press conference, bits and pieces of information were added to what we know.

When prompted by the press, Grousbeck explained that an outside law-firm found that Udoka had violated the team’s guidelines more than once. He stressed that he believes that such acts are not a common occurrence within the Boston Celtics organization, saying:

"“This feels very much, to me, like one of a kind. That’s my personal belief. But I’ll have to verify that.”"

Neither Grousbeck nor Stevens shared additional details on how the team’s head coach violated guidelines. The Celtics’ owner did say however, that Udoka will face a significant financial penalty during his suspension.

When asked if he felt the one-year suspension was appropriate, Grousbeck explained the team’s reasoning:

"“I personally feel that this is well-warranted and appropriate, backed by substantial research and evidence and facts. It was clear that something substantial needed to be done. And it was.”"

Stevens confirmed Friday that Joe Mazzulla, a Rhode Island native, would be taking over as the head coach of the Celtics in Udoka’s absence:

"“Joe’s going to be in charge. It’s not easy timing for him or the rest of the staff, but he’s an exceptionally sharp and talented person. This will be an unbelievable challenge, but I’m really confident in the team and the coaching staff that’s going to take the court on Tuesday. It’s not what we expected to happen, but I’m very confident in them.”"

Stevens added that he didn’t give any thought to stepping back into the coaching role himself.