During a press conference on Friday, Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck said a law firm hired to investigate coach Ime Udoka’s intimate relationship with a female staff member uncovered “a volume of violations,” writes Jared Weiss of The Athletic. The team reached out to the law firm this summer after being made aware of the nature of the relationship. Grousbeck added that the investigation focused entirely on Udoka, and no one else in the organization is facing disciplinary action.
Grousbeck received the firm’s report on Wednesday and talked to several shareholders before deciding to impose a season-long suspension on Udoka that runs through June 30. He added that there is a “a significant financial penalty” that goes along with the suspension, but didn’t specify whether Udoka will go through the entire year without being paid.
“This felt right, but there’s no clear guidelines for any of this,” Grousbeck responded when asked whether Udoka should have been dismissed. “This is really a conscious, gut feel and being here 20 years.”
There’s more from Boston:
- Team president Brad Stevens‘ answer about the level of communication Udoka will have with the team during his suspension was troubling, contends Steve Buckley of The Athletic. “I’m not going to get into specifics of what I, how we’re moving forward with that,” Stevens said at the press conference. “But I will say that he’s got a lot of relationships with a lot of people. As we alluded to earlier, yesterday wasn’t an easy day for a lot of people in a lot of ways.” Buckley warns that any conversations between Udoka and the players could undermine 34-year-old interim coach Joe Mazzulla and recommends that the suspended coach should be banned from talking to them during the season.
- Stevens wasn’t interested in returning to his former job as head coach while Udoka is suspended, per Brian Robb of MassLive. Grousbeck brought up the idea, but Stevens believes he can better serve the team by staying in his current position and acting as an advisor to Mazzulla.
- Stevens told Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe that the Celtics won’t overreact to Robert Williams‘ injury by signing a veteran big man before giving a chance to players already on the roster. Washburn suggests that could mean more minutes for Luke Kornet and possibly two-way player Mfiondu Kabengele.