The Boston Celtics announced, Thursday evening, the suspension of head coach Ima Oduka for violating the franchise’s internal guidelines. With that, the coach will be out for the entire 2022/23 NBA season. Oduka, 45, reportedly had a consensual intimate relationship with a Celtics employee. The information was initially revealed by journalist Adrian Wojnarowski, from ESPN in the United States.
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According to the note published by Boston, the decision on Ima Odoka’s professional future will be made “soon”. The team will re-arrange for pre-season training next week. The first game of the campaign will take place on October 18.
Oduka led the Celtics to the 2022 Eastern Conference title, losing to the Golden State Warriors in the last NBA Finals. It was his first year as a franchise head coach, after seven years as an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs under his mentor Gregg Popovich, one year with the Philadelphia 76ers and one year with the Brooklyn Nets.
Boston Celtics head coach Ima Oduka — Photo: Jim Davis/The Boston Globe
The Celtics haven’t won the East since 2010. Led by Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart, the team is happy with a turnaround performance starting in January and a sprint to the NBA’s big stage in June.
For the new season, the signings of Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari make the Celtics one of the big favorites for the title again.