Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka faces disciplinary action for organizational violation

Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka is facing disciplinary action that could include a significant suspension for an unspecified violation of organizational guidelines, sources told ESPN Wednesday night.

The Celtics are expected to make a decision on the length of that suspension on Thursday, but Udoka’s job is not believed to be at risk, sources said.

Udoka’s top assistant coach Will Hardy left to become head coach of the Utah Jazz, and another Jazz finalist, Celtics assistant Joe Mazzulla, would likely be serious consideration in an interim role, sources told ESPN.

Udoka joined the Celtics last summer after spending time with the San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets as an assistant coach following his NBA career.

Udoka replaced Brad Stevens as head coach. Stevens climbed the stairs to be the president of Boston basketball operations after his predecessor in that role, Danny Ainge, chose to leave the organization.

In his first season as head coach, Udoka oversaw a remarkable turnaround in Boston that saw the Celtics go from under .500 in late January to close the season at a 28-7 record in their last 35 games. They then authored an impressive Eastern Conference playoff run, advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time in 12 years.

Udoka is the fifth head coach in the past 25 years to reach the NBA Finals in his first season as head coach, and the first since Nick Nurse in 2019.

He also, according to the ESPN Stats & Information poll, became the first rookie coach to win multiple games 7 in his first postseason. Udoka led Boston to wins over the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals and the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals in seven games, before Boston lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games in the NBA Finals.

ESPN NBA writer Tim Bontemps contributed to this report.

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