Ime Udoka has been suspended as head of Boston Celtics over what has been described as unacceptable relationship with a female staff member.
The 45-year-old is suspended for the 2022-23 NBA season
Udoka who led the Celtics to the NBA Finals earlier this year in his first season as a head coach, was suspended for “violations of team policies”.
The team added that a decision about Udoka’s future beyond 2022-23 will be made at a later date.
Reacting to his suspension Udoka wrote in a statement: ”I want to apologise to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organisation and my family for letting them down.
“I am sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I will have no further comment.”
After a seven-year playing career in the NBA, Udoka served as an assistant coach for the San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets before succeeding Brad Stevens as Boston coach in June 2021.
The Celtics won 28 of their final 35 games in the regular season to reach the play-offs and went on to make the NBA Finals for the first time in 12 years, losing 4-2 against the Golden State Warriors.