Celtics head coach Ime Udoka could potentially miss the remainder of the NBA season following reports that he engaged in an “improper” intimate relationship with a female member of the organization. According Shams Charania of the Athletic, Udoka, who has been in a relationship with actress Nia Long since 2010, could face punishment or possible suspension from the team for his alleged transgressions.
The outlet also reported that intimate relationships with fellow staff members is considered a violation of the franchise’s conduct guidelines. A disciplinary decision is expected from the team as soon as Thursday (September 22). If Udoka is indeed suspended, assistant coach Joe Mazzulla could step in as interim coach. Although Udoka has yet to speak out about the allegations, fans quickly flooded social media with their love and support for his longterm partner (and mother of his 10-year old son, Kez) Nia Long.
One fan tweeted, “Ime Udoka cheated on Nia Long, get him out the league.” Another added, “Ime Udoka fumbled Nia Long and the NBA Finals. I’ve never seen an L worse than this one.” The news comes less than four months after the Celtics Head Coach recieved much praise from basketball fans for helping guide this team to the 2022 NBA Finals.
Last year, Nia gushed about her longtime partner’s skills as a first year coach, telling PopCulture, I think he’s going to kill it. He’s one of the most disciplined people I know. He’s worked really hard for this and now he’s got to just get to work with his players and do what he does best. So, it’s an exciting time for our family to be able to sit in the stands.”
Check out more #TeamNia tweets below.