Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck and president Brad Stevens addressed the media Friday after the decision was made to suspend head coach Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-23 NBA season over an improper relationship with a female employee. Many people were confused by the harsh suspension based on the information initially available because of the supposed “consensual” nature of the relationship, but this press conference was used to help show why the punishment is warranted. The latest reporting from The Athletic also said that while the relationship was initially believed to be consensual, Udoka has been accused of making “unwanted comments” toward the woman, though we still don’t know the full nature of the misconduct.
“I personally feel this is well warranted and appropriate, backed by substantial research and evidence and facts, so I’m standing by the decision,” Grousbeck said, via ESPN’s Tim Bontemps.
Grousbeck went on to note that Udoka committed not just “multiple violations,” but a “volume” of them:
When asked if the investigation determined Udoka's behavior was harmful to others or just inherently a violation of policy, Wyc Grousbeck would not comment.
Only clarified that there was a "volume of violations."
— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) September 23, 2022
There will be a financial penalty to go along with the suspension, which will end on June 30, 2023. However, there’s no guarantee Udoka will be back once the suspension is up. The Celtics will make that determination when the time comes, and based on this presser some may wonder why the decision simply hasn’t been made to fire him. There’s also a chance Udoka just resigns, though the current reporting suggests that won’t happen.
This whole saga is a prime example of a situation where it’s beneficial to wait for more information to come out before spouting off, especially given the nature of the scandal. Stevens even got emotional talking about all the Twitter speculation and hot takes going around. It wasn’t helped by how clumsy the leaking and reporting of this story was from the start, but a little restraint can be a good thing.
Of course, in these days of 24/7 takes, everybody needs to have an opinion right away. It’s how messy situations like this get even messier, with plenty of people winding up with egg on their face. However, to many that doesn’t matter as they just move on to the next take, no matter how wrong.