More information about Celtics coach Ime Udoka’s year-long suspension is slowly emerging.
According to reports from ESPN, the independent law firm probe into Udoka found that he used crude language in his dialogue with a female subordinate prior to the start of an improper workplace relationship with the woman. Sources tell the publication that was an element that significantly factored into the severity of his one-year suspension.
Those findings–which described verbiage from Udoka that was deemed especially concerning coming from a workplace superior–contribute to what is likely a difficult pathway back to his reinstatement as Celtics coach in 2023, sources told ESPN. The power dynamic associated with a superior’s improper relationship with a staff member was the primary finding and policy violation cited in the law firm’s report, which was commissioned by the Celtics and completed early last week.
This new development comes as former NBA player Matt Barnes continues to speak about the situation after initially defending Udoka, suggesting Ime may never coach again if further details come out about his cheating scandal.
During an interview with VladTV, Barnes says he saw a lot of people in the NBA get involved in messy relationships during his time as an active player, but the Udoka situation is different.
“Like I heard, it’s not about what he did, I guess it’s about who he did it with,” he said, going on to add that any further revelations could “flip the game upside down” if they come out.
“This is not something that’s, you know, only in the NBA,” he explained. “It happens in the workplace all around. It’s not so much the act.”
“He’s a great coach,” Barnes continued. “Boston will figure out a way, but you know if everything comes out he’ll be lucky if he coaches in the NBA again to be honest with you…I think it’s pretty heavy, man. It’s just some stuff you can’t do… Not judging, to each his own I’ve made plenty of mistakes, but if everything comes out it could get extra hot in the kitchen for him, yeah.”