Ime Udoka is speaking out in the wake of his NBA suspension.
The Boston Celtics coach is apologizing after allegations surfaced in which he was accused of engaging in a consensual relationship with a female member of the team’s staff. A relationship with the unnamed staff member is reportedly against the franchise’s code of conduct.
The 45-year-old has been suspended from the NBA for the entire 2022-2023 season.
“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down,” he said in a statement shared by ESPN’s “NBA Today” host Malika Andrews. “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 Celtics start their upcoming season on Oct.18 against the Philadelphia 76ers at the TD Garden in Boston, with their first pre-season game kicking off Sept. 30.
Udoka took over as the team’s head coach ahead of the 2021-22 NBA season and coached the Celtics to their first NBA Finals appearance since 2010, where they lost 4-2 to the Golden State Warriors. At the time, actress Nia Long — who has been engaged to Udoka for nearly a decade — praised him for making it to the NBA finals in his first year as the Celtics’ head coach.
Long and Udoka share a 10-year-old son, Kez, as well as Long’s son, Massai, from a previous relationship. ET has reached out to Long regarding the status of her relationship with Udoka.
On Wednesday, as news broke of the allegations against Udoka, the Friday actress shared a cryptic video on Instagram. In the clip, a repost from a healing and wellness page, Long makes reference to embracing positivity, spirituality and finding light after darkness.
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