OPINION: It’s time for Ime Udoka to be ejected

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Ime Udoka recently found out that being the head coach of Boston’s beloved basketball team doesn’t mean he can do whatever he wants.

Udoka’s year long suspension for violating team policies was announced Sept. 22. He was involved in what is being described as an intimate and consensual affair with a woman on the Celtics’ staff.

It seemed like Udoka was self-sabotaging in multiple aspects of his life. His job, relationship and reputation were at stake when he decided to have an affair, yet he still chose to pursue it.

According to the LA Times, Udoka has been in a relationship with actress Nia Long for 12 years, who he also has a 10-year-old son with. Long said in a statement that she is choosing to move her focus to herself and her children.

In an apology statement that Udoka made to ESPN, where he doesn’t even mention Long, he stated he respects the team’s decision, but was it even the right one?

What Udoka has done has created an image for the entire Celtics franchise. A scandal like this doesn’t get forgotten in just one year. This is now imprinted on Udoka’s image and could affect the Celtics as well. If they take Udoka back next year, it will be viewed as unprofessional.

Every woman he will try to involve himself with from now on knows. If the Celtics don’t take him back, every other team in the NBA that he might want to work for knows about it too. It’s still early in Udoka’s coaching career and he has already sabotaged his future.

According to ESPN, “there are teams that have tried to gather a preliminary understanding of the full explanation for Udoka’s suspension in preparation for possibly evaluating him for future coaching employment.”

According to Yard Barker, the affair was uncovered when the woman’s husband heard a private conversation via doorbell camera between her and Udoka.

As the investigation unraveled, it was confirmed that the relationship started when Udoka was consistently using “crude language” with the woman prior to the affair, according to ESPN.

Not all teams have such a strict policy against dating among staff members, but hopefully they’re all against harassing staff members.

“The Celtics wouldn’t confirm the nature of the violations, but [Brad] Stevens, the team’s president of basketball operations, became emotional when describing the number of women employed by the Celtics who were targeted by unfounded social media rumors and allegations,” ESPN stated.

If the Celtics, or any NBA team, hire Udoka, they put every female staff member in a vulnerable position since they know what he has done in the past. He has already violated multiple team policies and is more than capable of doing it again. A year long suspension isn’t enough for Udoka.

During Udoka’s suspension, assistant coach Joe Mazzulla will be stepping in as interim head coach to lead the team this season. The C’s now have to adjust to a new coach with the world’s eyes on them.

The Celtics obviously take their team policies very seriously and Udoka must have known that. Under the initial announcement from the Celtics’ Twitter account, a lot of people believe so highly in Udoka’s coaching that to them the season is “over.”

But if Udoka was that good of a coach, he probably wouldn’t have done this in the first place.

 

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@saraherobs