Did The Boston Celtics Mishandle Head Coach Scandal?
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – It’s official: Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka’s is out for the season, after allegedly having a relationship with a Celtics staff member. The Celtics announced the year-long suspension Thursday, saying Udoka violated team policy. Udoka’s future with the team is up in the air. Officials say they’ll make a decision later. They say they began an internal investigation as soon as they learned about the situation. The Athletic is reporting the team knew as early as July, but didn’t get involved until Udoka made “unwanted comments” toward the woman.
Still, the Celtics owner says their investigation was thorough and the suspension warranted. Wycliffe Grousbeck says, “I personally feel that this is well warranted, and appropriate, backed by substantial research and evidence and facts, and so I’m standing by the decision, and Ime has accepted it.”
Ukoda released a statement Thursday apologizing, saying in part, “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.”
Now, the Boston Celtics are also coming under fire for how they’re handling the situation. Many online saying the year-long suspension is overkill. ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith called out the Celtics Friday on his show First Take, saying he takes issue with the team publicizing a personal matter that should have been handled in-house. He says, “You publicized a personal matter where there’s a whole bunch of issues, personally, that have happened in NBA, NFL, Major League Baseball, and other sports, and we don’t hear about their personal business. But, we got his stuff blasted on national television. This is the fault of the Boston Celtics.
More information is also coming out about Udoka’s fianceé, Nia Long. Sources close to the couple told TMZ that Long found out about the affair a few days ago. She just moved to Boston about two weeks ago, and was house hunting with Udoka.
Our question of the night: do you think the Celtics handled the situation appropriately?
This episode features:
WCCB TV’s Morgan Fogarty
WCCB Sports anchor Kelli Bartik