Ime Udoka, Boston Celtics coach, suspended for the entire NBA season

The team added that a decision on Udoka’s future with the Celtics will be made at a later date. His suspension took effect immediately.

According to ESPN, The Athletic and the Boston Globe, Udoka was in a consensual relationship with a female staff member of the team.

“I’m sorry for putting the team in this predicament and I accept the team’s decision,” Udoka told ESPN in a statement apologizing to the players, fans, the organization and his family.

CNN has reached out to the Celtics for further comment.

Udoka took over the role of team head coach from Brad Stevens ahead of the 2021-22 NBA season and coached the Celtics on their first appearance in the NBA Finals since 2010, where they lost 4-2 to the Golden State Warriors.

On Friday, Celtics owner Wycliffe “Wyc” Grousbeck and basketball operations president Brad Stevens spoke to the media to discuss Udoka’s suspension.

Grousbeck said the decision to suspend Udoka was made after the organization called a “respected law firm to conduct an impartial investigation” after learning of the allegations over the summer.

Grousbeck said he believes the all-season suspension – which will result in a “significant financial penalty”, according to the owner – is “well justified and appropriate and supported by substantial research and facts.”

He added: “I told myself personally in a private conversation, only the general theme was – I would say – acceptance and appreciation for how it was handled.”

Grousbeck also explained that the players are “very worried” after arguing with them. “It’s not a welcome development, but they also have, I felt, energy, focus, commitment and drive to achieve really great things this season.”

Stevens choked when he talked about the impact the news had on women in the organization, saying, “We have a lot of talented women in our organization.

“I thought yesterday was really hard with them. Nobody can control Twitter speculation – rampant bullshit. We as an organization have a responsibility to make sure we support them now because so many people have been dragged unfairly.”

Gary Washburn, national basketball writer for the Boston Globe, told John Berman and Brianna Keilar on CNN’s New Day that Udoka may never coach the Celtics again.

“This could have been something that was in his contract,” Washburn said. “You know, ‘You are unable to have relationships with members of organizations, especially those who are under you.’ So, unfortunately, for coach Udoka, he broke those laws, he broke those rules and now he’s not unemployed, but he’s as close to unemployed as possible.

“He will be suspended for a year and the organization has not promised he will return in 2023-24. They said they will see him again, so he may never coach the Boston Celtics again.”

The Celtics begin their season on October 18 against the Philadelphia 76ers at Boston’s TD Garden. The NBA training camps will open next week with the first preseason games scheduled for a week starting Friday.

Jacob Lev and Homero De la Fuente of CNN contributed to this report.