Celtics suspend coach Aimee Odoka for the entire 2022-23 season due to ‘violations of team policies’

The Boston Celtics have announced that coach Aimee Odoka has been suspended for the entire 2022-23 season for “violations of team policies”. Oduka’s suspension begins immediately, and the Celtics will make a decision on his future after this season at a later time.

Reportedly, assistant coach Joe Mazzola will serve as interim coach ESPN. The Celtics press release announcing Udoka’s suspension contained no idea who would take over the team.

Odoka released a personal statement in the wake of Boston’s announcement: “I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down. I am sorry to put the team in this difficult situation and I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I will have no further comment.”

The reason for Udoka’s suspension is an alleged consensual but improper relationship with a member of the staff, Shams Al Shaaraniya Athlete reported Wednesday. Odoka considered resigning, according to Chris Mannix from Sports Illustrated; However, he reportedly decided not to resign.

Boston appointed Odoka last June after Brad Stevens, Odoka’s predecessor, took over as team captain. The Celtics started 23-24 under Odoka but dominated the remainder of the regular season with wins in 28 of their last 35 games. They finished the NBA’s best defense and advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2010. Boston eventually lost to the Golden State Warriors in six games.

Prior to joining the Celtics, Odoka was an assistant coach for nine seasons serving seven staff members at the San Antonio Spurs led by Greg Popovich before spending one year with Brett Brown at Philadelphia 76ers and Steve Nash at the Brooklyn Nets.

Mazzola was an assistant coach under Odoka and Stevens, having been hired by then-chairman Danny Aing in 2019. Earlier this season, he interviewed for an open coach position at the Utah Jazz, which eventually passed to the Celtics’ assistant coach. Ex Will Hardy. Then, Boston promoted Mazzola to a role in front of the bench, according to the Boston Globe.

In 2013-2014, Mazola began his coaching career as an assistant at Vermont State. He left after three years to join the Celtics’ G League, then known as Maine Red Claws, for one year. He returned to Vermont State where he was a coach for two years leading the team to a record 43-17 and a first-round exit in the 2019 NCAA Division II Championship.

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