BOSTON – The decision to suspend Celtics coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season comes after a months-long investigation into his conduct by an independent law firm, Wyc Grousbeck, majority owner of the team, said at a news conference on Friday.
Grousbeck cited “privacy reasons” when he declined to elaborate on the nature of Udoka’s misconduct. One person briefed on the matter, who was not authorized to speak publicly about it, said Udoka had an inappropriate relationship with a female employee on the team.
“It was a time of concern, reflection and action,” said Grousbeck, who along with Brad Stevens, the team’s executive chairman of basketball, said. “We have strong values at the Celtics and we’re doing our best to maintain them here.”
Grousbeck said he thought the suspension was “warranted and appropriate.” It will not be paid.
“This feels right, but there are no clear guidelines for any of these,” Grousbeck said. “This is really conscience and gut feeling.”
Joe Mazzulla, one of Udoka’s assistants, will be the team’s interim coach this season, Stevens said.
Grousbeck said a decision on Udoka’s long-term future has yet to be made.