Nia Long Criticizes Celtics For Handling Of Ime Udoka Suspension

'I literally felt like my heart had jumped out of my body'

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December 1, 2022

Nia Long is not happy about how the Celtics handled Ime Udoka’s suspension and affair.

Boston suspended its head coach for the 2022-23 NBA season in September for an inappropriate relationship with a female team staffer. It later was reported Udoka also allegedly made “unwanted comments” toward said staffer.

There was a possibility Udoka could leave the Celtics and become the new head coach of the Nets after they parted ways with Steve Nash, but after the franchise’s dealings with Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn reportedly did not want any more backlash added to the organization’s plate.

Boston elevated assistant Joe Mazzulla as interim head coach, and he has led the Celtics to a league-best 18-4 record through Thursday.

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Udoka’s fiancé, Long, initially thanked those who supported her after the news broke and asked for her privacy to be kept. But in an interview published Thursday with Brande Victorian of The Hollywood Reporter, revealed more details on how the suspension affected her and her family.

“I think the most heartbreaking thing about all of this was seeing my son’s face when the Boston Celtics organization decided to make a very private situation public,” Long told THR, who also revealed she took her son out of school when the news broke. “It was devastating, and it still is. He still has moments where it’s not easy for him. If you’re in the business of protecting women — I’m sorry, no one from the Celtics organization has even called to see if I’m OK, to see if my children are OK. It’s very disappointing.”

Long did not comment on the status of her relationship with Udoka, nor did she discuss the conduct that prompted his suspension. No one from the Celtics organization has responded to Long’s interview as of early Thursday afternoon.

Thumbnail photo via Gregory Fisher/USA TODAY Sports Images
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