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Celtics plan for Ime Udoka replacement amid ‘likely’ season-long suspension

Celtics, Ime Udoka, Joe Mazzulla

Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka will likely be facing a suspension for the entire 2022-23 season for having a consensual relationship with a female staff member of the Celtics. If he does end up getting suspended, someone will have to replace him for the upcoming season, and it looks like that guy will be assistant coach Joe Mazzulla.

Mazzulla has been with the Celtics as an assistant coach since 2019, and quickly became one of Udoka’s top assistant’s during his first year in charge of the C’s last season.While nothing is official regarding Udoka’s suspension and Mazzulla’s status on Boston’s coaching staff, it’s looking increasingly likely this is the course of action Boston will take with this situation.

This is certainly a huge blow to the Celtics season, and it hasn’t even begun yet. Udoka led an unreal turnaround in Boston last season that saw them go from having an 18-21 record all the way to the NBA Finals. While they ended up losing to the Golden State Warriors, the C’s strong offseason made them one of the favorites to not just make it back to the Finals, but win it all as well.

This adds to the drama that the Celtics have been surrounded in recently, with Jaylen Brown being linked in a potential Kevin Durant trade, and Robert Williams III being forced to miss the start of the season with a lingering left knee injury. Now it appears as if Udoka is likely going to miss the entire season, forcing Mazzulla to unexpectedly take over. There is still a lot of information that has yet to come out regarding this situation, but this obviously isn’t an ideal situation for the Celtics.