Ime Udoka Officially Replaced By Joe Mazzulla As Boston Celtics’ Head Coach, Months After Affair & Suspension
Looks like Boston is moving on from a hectic year.
According to reports, the East Coast city announced earlier today (Thursday, February 16th), that the organization’s interim head coach Joe Mazzulla will permanently fill the position. News of the 34-year-old’s promotion comes nearly 5 months after previous head coach Ime Udoka was suspended for policy violations.
In a statement, Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens stated about Mazzulla:
“As he has shown, Joe is a very talented coach and leader…He has a unique ability to galvanize a room around a mission. We are thankful for the work he has done to help get us to this point, and excited he has agreed to lead us into the future.”
Reportedly, Mazzulla’s success with the team during his short time as acting head coach is likely what secured the position. At this time, the team reportedly has the best record in the NBA this season, with a 42-17 run. Mazzulla had been the Celtics’ assistant coach since 2019 and was reportedly signed to a multi-year contract extension deal. The amount and duration, however, are reportedly undisclosed.
Naming a new head coach is definitely a fresh start for the Massachusetts organization. As previously reported, the Celtics infamously suspended Udoka after his intimate relationship with a female staff member was revealed. Though it has not been disclosed how many or what exact policies were violated, Udoka was suspended for the entire 2022-2023 season.
The situation was extra juicy in terms of media coverage due to Udoka being in a relationship with his long-term partner Nia Long during the time the scandal was announced.
Following the affair, the two seemingly ended their relationship – which spanned more than a decade. They do, however, share an 11-year-old son named Kez together.
As of now, it’s reportedly unclear what Udoka’s situation is with Boston. He has reportedly not been fired nor has he quit the team. The New York nets were reportedly briefly interested in hiring Udoka, but the deal ultimately fell through. Reports mostly attribute the decision to backlash and concern over the cheating and affair scandal.
What are your thoughts on the situation? Leave them in the comments section below!