In September, the Boston Celtics suspended head coach Ime Udoka for a full season for having an inappropriate relationship with a female coworker, which violated team policy. Udoka's fiancée, actress Nia Long, hadn't spoke publicly about the situation, but finally broke her silence on Thursday in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
Long detailed that she was most saddened by the fact that no member of the Celtics organization has checked to see how she was doing since the news broke and called that "very disappointing.
"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 said. "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 and Udoka have been engaged since 2015 and have an 11-year old son together. In the interview, Long said that she is "co-parenting" with Udoka, but didn't reveal the current status of their relationship.
The Celtics announced that Udoka would be suspended for the entire 2022-23 season and would decide on his future behind that "at a later date." The team didn't reveal any details regarding Udoka's relationship with the female staffer, but The Athletic's Shams Charania reported that the two had an "improper and consensual relationship."
In addition, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Sept. 30 that an independent investigation into Udoka's relationship with the female staff member unearthed that the Celtics head coach "used crude language in his dialogue with a female subordinate prior to the start of an improper workplace relationship with the woman."
It's viewed as unlikely that Udoka would return as the head coach of the Celtics for the 2023-24 season. According to Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe, the Celtics are "fully invested" in the success of interim head coach Joe Mazzulla.
Mazzulla has served as the Celtics' interim head coach since Udoka's suspension was announced. The 34-year old has led the Celtics to an NBA-best 18-4 record just months after Boston reached the NBA Finals before falling to the Golden State Warriors.