Celtics Coach Ime Udoka — Players Learned Of His Suspension On Social Media Along W/ His Fiancée Nia Long

Boston Celtics x Ime Udoka

Celtics Coach Ime Udoka — Players Learned Of His Suspension On Social Media Along W/ His Fiancée Nia Long

It appears that actress Nia Long wasn’t the only one blindsided by the cheating scandal that Ime Udoka, her fiancé, is currently at the center of.

Some of the Boston Celtics players who were coached by Ime Udoka revealed that they were informed about his suspension in the same way as everyone else: Via social media, particularly Twitter.

Jayson Tatum, 24, said,

“It’s just an unfortunate situation, all things considered. Nobody expected this coming into the season. We were all caught off guard by everything.”

Boston Celtics, Jayson Tatum

The timing of Ime Udoka‘s suspension, according to point guard and current Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart, 28, was particularly challenging for the team to manage. He said:

“It’s been hell for us. It happened in a time that we didn’t have any time to understand everything before media day…we just found out like you guys did, so we’re doing our best to cope.”

Marcus Smart added,

“I still love Ime as a person and as a coach. It’s just something unfortunate that has happened to him. It doesn’t take away anything from him as a coach, from how he turned this team around.”

Marcus Smart - Boston Celtics

As previously reported, Udoka, who has been with Nia Long for 12 years and engaged for at least seven of those, was suspended on Thursday (September 22) as a result of the revelation that he had an intimate and consensual relationship with a female staffer. The relationship/illegal affair breached the the policies of the organization. Despite the fact that word of Udoka‘s disciplinary action spread over social media all day, the Celtics didn’t make their official announcement until after 9 p.m. EST.

According to an official statement from the organization,

“The team has suspended Head Coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season for violations of team policies. A decision about his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date. The suspension takes effect immediately.”

Boston Celtics - Ime Udoka suspension

Udoka was an assistant coach for the Brooklyn Nets before joining the Celtics in 2021. He contributed to the team finishing the season with a 28-7 record after starting the year with a record below .500. In the last 25 years, he is the fifth coach to lead his team to the NBA Finals in his inaugural year.

The 45-year-old publicly expressed regret to the organization and his family in a statement following his suspension for putting them in a “difficult situation.” He said,

“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, 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.”

Ime Udoka, Nia Long

Nia Long also released a statement on the matter through her representative Shannon Barr. She said,

“The outpouring of love and support from family, friends and the community during this difficult time means so much to me. I ask that my privacy be respected as I process the recent events. Above all, I am a mother and will continue to focus on my children.”

Udoka and Long share one son, 10-year-old Kez Udoka. She also has a 21-year-old son, Massai Zhivago Dorsey II, from a previous relationship.

The actress previously shared that she didn’t want to be married, which may or may not be a contributing factor in their long-term romance. Long said,

“Love is complicated, let’s just start there. And then you start a marriage, which I’ve never been married. And there’s a reason for that because I don’t know that I need to say ‘I do’ to prove to you that I love you. But also, what does marriage really mean… that you own me now and I own you? I don’t get that part.

Udoka and Long‘s current relationship state remains unknown at this time.

What are your thoughts on the entire situation? Let us know in the comments!


Authored by: S. G.