Late Thursday evening, the Boston Celtics introduced that head coach Ime Udoka has been suspended for everything of the 2022–23 season. This announcement got here practically 24 hours after ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charania had reported that Udoka was dealing with such a suspension due a relationship he had with a feminine Celtics staffer, which resulted in a violation of group insurance policies.
Udoka released a brief statement of his personal, during which he apologized for placing the group in a “tough scenario,” however didn’t elaborate additional.
Within the hours between Woj and Shams’s preliminary studies and the Celtics lastly asserting the suspension, there grew an info void that many had been fast to attempt to fill with their very own assumptions and projections. That void is just not actually any smaller this morning, because the specifics of the Celtics’ announcement increase a complete new set of questions. “A choice about his future with the Celtics past this season will probably be made at a later date” positive makes it sound Udoka may finally find yourself getting fired for this violation. If what he did was dangerous sufficient for termination to be an choice, then why hassle with the suspension first? It appears unattainable to think about Udoka returning to the group after a yr away and all the pieces going again to enterprise as common, so why the half-measure now?
It appears that evidently we’ll need to proceed to depend on reporters like Shams and Woj to attempt to discover solutions to these questions, and we’ve already seen the boundaries of insider reporting on this explicit scenario. It was notable to see, given how few particulars Shams and Woj got about this story, or how few they had been snug reporting, that the phrase “consensual” appeared in each of their descriptions of the connection. Given how usually “consent” means various things to totally different individuals, significantly within the context of a office relationship, the place numerous energy dynamics inflect each interplay, it was onerous to think about how that specific element may very well be nailed down and able to report whereas no others had been. That particular phrase coloured lots of people’s assumptions in regards to the relationship, and is precisely what set Stephen A. Smith off on an impassioned defense of Udoka.
Now, a couple of days after the preliminary studies, it appears like the unique description of the connection as consensual is in line to get walked again. In his story in regards to the suspension being introduced, Charania included this bit:
Some members of the Celtics group first turned conscious of the connection in July, sources mentioned. At the moment, group management was led to imagine by each events that the connection was consensual. However sources mentioned that the lady lately accused Udoka of constructing undesirable feedback towards her — main the group to launch a set of inside interviews.
There’s rather a lot we nonetheless don’t find out about what precisely Udoka did to earn this suspension. Within the meantime, you’ll be able to depend on pundits, followers, and different observers persevering with to weigh in with their very own uninformed interpretations.