It is a different world out there, and even an up-and-coming winning NBA coach isn’t above the rules that say you should not be going within your organization for romance, especially if the people whom you go after work under you in any way. For a coach, that means you basically cannot be involved with anyone at work.
The Boston Celtics late Thursday suspended head coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season for what the team called “violations of team policies,” rocking one of the preseason NBA title favorites a month before the new season begins.
The team did not specify the violations. Reports by ESPN and The Athletic said that Udoka was facing disciplinary action over a consensual relationship with a female colleague. The Celtics statement did not elaborate on the circumstances.
The team appeared to leave open the possibility that Udoka had coached his last game with the Celtics.
“A decision about his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date,” the 46-word team statement read.
The Celtics did not name an immediate replacement for Udoka.
“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down,” Udoka said in a statement reported by ESPN. “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.”
The suspension jolted the league and shook a Celtics team coming off an unexpected appearance in the NBA Finals in Udoka’s first season as their coach. The expectations for Udoka’s team have been high for the season that begins next month: The Celtics were the betting favorites to win the championship as of Thursday morning.
Considering how long society ignored, or even celebrated, workplace lotharios, it is good that people can now lose their jobs over these issues, no matter how powerful those people might be.