The Celtics did not guarantee Udoka’s return after the season.

Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka has been suspended for the 2022-23 season. AP Photo / Jed Jacobsohn, File

Celtics announced the suspension of head coach Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-23 season on Thursday, without guaranteeing his return to the role next season.

In a statement, the team said the suspension was due to Udok’s “breach” – in the plural – of the team’s rules.

“The decision on his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date,” the statement said. “Suspension takes effect immediately.”

Udoka issued a statement to Malika Andrews of ESPN also.

“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization and my family for failing them,” said Udoka. “I am sorry for putting the team in such a difficult situation and I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I will not have any further comments. “

Udoka was reportedly suspended for having an “intimate, voluntary” relationship with a Celtics employee. He is reportedly not going to quit waiting for the Celtics to decide on his future status.

In his first season as Celtics coach, Udoka helped the team turn what started as a disappointing season into their most successful performance since 2010. The Celtics were the hottest basketball team in the second half of last season and ran to the NBA Finals where they were eliminated by the Warriors in six games.

Led by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Celtics – with a bench with a new look, full of talent – were expected to be the favorite of the season. However, Udoka’s suspension casts a shadow on a very promising season just a few weeks ago.

Assistant Joe Mazzulla will be supposedly take over for Udoka as interim head coach. Mazzulla has been in the organization since 2019.

The Celtics, scheduled to host Media Day on Monday, will start the season on October 18 against the 76ers.

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