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The Boston Celtics have suspended head coach Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-2023 season for a “violation of team policy” after he had an affair with a female employee of the organization.

The relationship with the staff member was “considered a violation of company guidelines,” ESPN reported Wednesday night. The staff member’s role at the franchise was not immediately clear, and the person was not identified.

The Celtics released a statement Thursday of their decision.

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Boston Celtics head coach Imae Udoka calls a play against the Golden State Warriors in the fourth quarter during Game 3 of the NBA Finals at TD Garden in Boston on June 8, 2022.
(Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

“The Boston Celtics announced today that the team has suspended head coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season for violating team policy. A decision regarding his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date. The suspension is effective immediately,” the team said.

Udoka released a separate statement.

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“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization and my family for letting them down. I am sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team’s decision. Out of respect for all involved, I will have no further comment. .”

Udoka, 45, has been with actress Nia Long since 2010. Long is known for her roles in “Big Mama’s House”, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “Love Jones”. The two have a son together and she had a son from a previous relationship.

Long told Essence in 2015 that he had no plans to marry.

IME Udoka Suggests Expanding Situation Due to ESPN Star Race, Accuses Celtics of Leaking Information

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Nia Long and Ime Udoka attend BET's 2017 American Black Film Festival Honors Awards on February 17, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California.

Nia Long and Ime Udoka attend BET’s 2017 American Black Film Festival Honors Awards on February 17, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California.
(Tomaso Boddi/WireImage)

“Love is complicated, let’s face it,” she told the outlet. “And then you start a marriage, which I’ve never been married to. And there’s a reason for that because I don’t know that I have to say ‘I do’ to prove that I love you. Really getting married [mean] … that you now own me, and I yours? I don’t get that part.

“I understand the religious aspect of marriage. It’s beautiful, and it’s fantastic, and it’s dreamy, and it’s every girl’s fantasy to have that moment. But I don’t know that I need it to feel like I’m in a partnership that’s working.”

In his first season with the Celtics last year, Udoka led Boston to the Eastern Conference Finals, where his team defeated the Miami Heat to advance to the NBA Finals. The Golden State Warriors will eventually win.

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The Celtics went into the playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference at 51-31. Udoka became the fifth coach in 25 years to reach the finals in his first year as a head coach.

Udoka was a journeyman NBA player before joining the coaching ranks. He was an assistant with the San Antonio Spurs, Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets before taking the Celtics job.

Assistant coach Joe Majulla has reportedly been appointed as interim coach in Udoka’s absence.

Joe Mazzulla of the Boston Celtics takes part during the NBA Finals media availability at TD Garden in Boston on June 9, 2022.

Boston Celtics’ Joe Mazzulla takes part during the NBA Finals media availability at TD Garden in Boston on June 9, 2022.
(Jesse D. Garabrant/NBA via Getty Images)

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Majulla, 34, has been on the Celtics’ bench since 2019. He was an assistant at Glenville State and Fairmont State between 2011 and 2016, and then an assistant at the Celtics’ G League team, the Maine Red Claws. He was the head coach at Fairmont State from 2017-2019 before returning to Boston.

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