Former NBA player and current media personality Matt Barnes previously shared how the situation involving suspended Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka would get “100 times uglier” in the wake of the initial reports. Since then, the situation certainly has escalated with details emerging of the “affair” between Udoka and a Celtics female staffer.
Barnes now has doubled down on his intel, as he previously described it, going as far as to question whether Udoka might ever coach in the league again.
“If everything comes out, he’ll be lucky if he coaches in the NBA again, to be honest with you,” Barnes said during an interview with “Vlad TV,” which was making waves on the internet Thursday. “I think it’s pretty heavy, man. There’s some stuff you can’t do. Some stuff you can’t do. Again, not judging, to each his own. I’ve made plenty of mistakes. But if everything comes out it could get extra hot in the kitchen for him.”
Previous reports from TMZ and Entertainment Tonight shared insight on Udoka’s connection to the team staffer. According to TMZ, the staffer served as his travel assistant, planning travel for both Udoka and his longtime fiancée Nia Long, a well-known actress. Entertainment Tonight followed that up over the weekend by sharing the staffer’s husband discovered the relationship after hearing a conversation on a doorbell camera. The same ET report indicated the Celtics knew the relationship was taking place and still allowed the staffer to work with Udoka and Long on their travel plans.
Barnes hinted Udoka’s relationship was with someone who has strong ties within the organization.
“I’ve seen, from the owners to the dancers, and everybody in between. It’s kind of its own little reality show,” Barnes said “Again, to each his own. No one’s claiming to be perfect. But, like I heard it’s not about what he did, it’s about who he did it (with) that is really going to kind of flip the game upside down when it comes to this instance.
“This is not something that’s only the NBA,” he continued. “It happens in the workplace all around. But like I said, it’s not so much the act.”
Barnes certainly has come a long way from initially defending Udoka when it was reported the relationship was “consensual.” It’s worth noting that came before The Athletic’s Shams Charania offered an update to his own report expressing how Udoka made “unwanted” comments to a staffer, after it started as an improper yet consensual relationship.
The Celtics last Friday confirmed Udoka’s suspension was due to multiple violations of the team’s policy, though would not offer any additional insights while citing “privacy” concerns. Members of the team like Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Marcus Smart shared during Celtics media day Monday how they found out about Udoka’s transgressions on Twitter like the rest of the general public. They also expressed how they were hoping to receive more answers from the organization.