The Boston Celtics had known about the allegations against Ime Udoka for a couple months at the most ... team owner Wyc Grousbeck said on Friday.
Grousbeck addressed the situation surrounding his team's head coach publicly for the first time with media members since banning Udoka on Thursday for one full year, and while he declined to get into any specifics of the case, he did say the Celtics were first made aware of the claims at some point this summer.
Grousbeck says the team immediately brought in a law firm to investigate ... and it concluded its probe on Wednesday.
After learning of the firm's findings, Grousbeck said, the Boston owner and other execs within the Celtics org. decided to suspend Udoka for the entirety of the 2022-23 season.
Grousbeck reiterated Friday that the punishment could go on longer than just one year.
Udoka is accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a female staffer during his one year as Celtics coach. Neither the team nor Udoka has addressed the allegations specifically, though Udoka did issue an apology on Thursday night following the announcement of his ban.
"I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down," Udoka said. "I am sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team's decision. Out of respect for everyone involved, I will have no further comment."
"Nobody can control Twitter speculation. Rampant. Bullshit. But I do think that we, as an organization, have a responsibility to make sure we're there to support them now."
— Celtics Pres. of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens on women staffers harassed due to Udoka's suspension pic.twitter.com/b2PoD8vZ3P
Udoka was hired by the Celtics in June 2021. Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens said they had no indication that he had been guilty of any misconduct at his previous jobs during his interview process.
"Nothing but glowing remarks," Stevens said.
Udoka had led the C's to an NBA Finals appearance in his first season with the team. Joe Mazzulla has been tapped to be the interim coach while Udoka serves his suspension.