Late Wednesday evening, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski posted a vague tweet that left not just New York Knicks fans, but NBA fans everywhere scratching their heads. Woj wrote that Boston Celtics’ Ime Udoka is “facing possible disciplinary action” due to an “unspecified violation of organizational guidelines.”
After a series of unclear tweets from Woj, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweeted that Udoka “had an improper consensual relationship with a female member of the team staff.” On Thursday, Woj tweeted that Udoka could be facing a year-long suspension for violating team policy, but the amount of time that he’ll be suspended is still unknown.
Understandably, there’s been a lot of questions that have arisen about Udoka’s situation. For a team that made a miraculous run to the NBA Finals a few months ago, this news is far from good for Boston, especially with the 2022-23 season weeks away. There’s uncertainty surrounding the Celtics and Udoka’s future, and that uncertainty could end up benefitting New York.
Boston’s considered to be a lock for the playoffs in 2023, but perhaps this ongoing situation could derail the team’s season. That, of course, would favor the Knicks, who are expected to be battling for a spot in the play-in tournament. The Celtics are still a talented team led by Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, but just last year, the Brooklyn Nets proved that outside factors could impact a team’s season regardless of talent.
Ime Udoka could be suspended for the entire 2022-23 season due to the Celtics’ team policy, which isn’t controlled by the league
It’s important to note that Udoka’s suspension isn’t up to the league, but instead the Celtics.
This comes at an exceptionally bad time for Boston after the team was wrapped up in Kevin Durant rumors for the majority of the summer. It was reported that the Celtics offered Jaylen Brown in a deal to the Nets for KD. After that news broke, Brown responded on Twitter. The Udoka news is just another added layer to the Celtics’ offseason issues.
If Udoka is indeed suspended for the season, there’s reason to believe that he won’t be back in 2023-24. After all, what good would it be for him to return as Boston’s head coach? Because of how this news has been reported, he’s not going to be able to escape this cloud, and if he returns, it’d only serve as a distraction to the Celtics.
At this point, it seems as if it’d be best for him to part ways with the organization altogether. According to Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix, Udoka has considered resigning.
What does this all mean for the Knicks? Well, for starters, it doesn’t mean that New York is going to take Boston’s expected spot in the playoffs. This news has caused turmoil within the Celtics organization, and because Boston’s in the Atlantic Division, the Knicks could be granted a slightly less difficult path to the postseason.
Udoka led the Celtics to basketball’s biggest stage in his first year as head coach and there’s a good chance that Game 6 of the NBA Finals was his last game at the helm for Boston. The future of the Celtics isn’t looking near as bright as it did a few months ago…