Alex Cora Reflective When Weighing In On Ime Udoka Suspension

Alex Cora commented on Ime Udoka's season-long suspension

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September 23

Seemingly everyone and anyone has weighed in on the situation leading to the Boston Celtics suspending head coach Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-23 season.

It’s mostly been Stephen A. Smith ranting and raving on social media and ESPN’s “First Take.” But New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick was also asked Friday about Celtics interim coach Joe Mazzulla, who stopped by a practice and had a chat with Belichick last month.

Even in New York, where Yankees star slugger Aaron Judge is on the precipice of tying Roger Maris’ American League home run record, it was a topic of conversation. Prior to Friday night’s game against the Yankees, Alex Cora was asked about the turmoil Udoka is in since the Red Sox manager received a season-long suspension himself in 2020 for his role in the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal back in 2017.

“I (expletive) up, right? I made a mistake and paid the price,” Cora told reporters, per The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham. “But when it happened, something bigger happened in the world — the pandemic. So just to be home for that reason, for whatever reason, the man upstairs put me in a place that my family needed, regardless of my professional thing.

“It’s hard for me to explain it because, yeah, I was there with the kids. I was able to be with my twins and my family in the middle of the pandemic and helping Angelica. I don’t know how to explain it. Coming back… the most important thing from my end and what I did — like I said, I messed up — I just kept going and learned from that and keep moving forward.”

Cora didn’t go into detail about if he had any advice for Udoka.

“I don’t want to go there,” Cora told reporters, per Abraham.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if there was a professional friendship built between Cora and Udoka during Udoka’s first season with the Celtics last year. The coaches of the four major professional sports teams in Boston usually have a pretty good relationship, lending support to one another, especially before big games. For example, the Patriots wore Celtics hats at one of their spring practices while the Red Sox donned Celtics jerseys in May with the team amid its run to the NBA Finals.

As Cora alluded to, he learned from his mistake and it will be up to Udoka to try to do the same.

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