Celtics Cut Ties with Udoka

On February 16, the Boston Celtics officially cut ties with head coach Ime Udoka (he/him) in a statement posted on social media. Joe Mazzula (he/him), who has been the Celtics’ interim head coach this season due to Udoka’s season-long suspension, has been named the 19th head coach in the franchise’s history. 

Mazzula has been a member of the Celtics organization for less than five years, holding an assistant coach position before being named interim head coach in September. Udoka, who was with the Celtics for just one season, was suspended the same month for violating team rules. The violations included an alleged affair with a team staffer. 

In the statement, Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations delivered glowing remarks about their new head coach. 

“As he has shown, Joe is a very talented coach and leader. He has a unique ability to galvanize a room around a mission. We are thankful for the work he has done to help get us to this point, and excited that he has agreed to lead us into the future,” Stevens said.

During Mazzula’s tenure as head coach, the C’s started the season 18-4, a league-best record. Mazzula also coached Team Giannis in the NBA All-Star Game on February 19. Team Giannis won over Team LeBron with a final score of 184-175, despite the 2023 NBA All-Star Game’s record low viewership.

Two Celtics stars were named All-Stars, Jayson Tatum (he/him) for Team Giannis and Jaylen Brown (he/him) for Team Lebron. Additionally, Tatum brought home the win for Team Giannis and won the NBA All-Star Game Kobe Bryant Most Valuable Player Award. 

Mazzula has certainly been welcomed by players and fans with open arms, despite the team’s success under Udoka. In Udoka’s first and only season with Boston, the Celtics went deep into the playoffs, making it to the NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors in June 2022. Ultimately, the Celtics fell in the best-of-seven series, but are favored to win the 2022-2023 NBA Finals this year.

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