Nia Long, the renowned actress and partner of the suspended Boston Celtics head coach, Ime Udoka, spoke for the first time about the scandal that shook the NBA world prior to the start of the 2022-2023 season.
In an in-depth interview with the hollywood reporterLong detailed her feelings of devastation that continue for her and her son, 11-year-old Kez, to this day.
He also attacked the Celtics organization.
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«I think the most heartbreaking thing about all of this was seeing my son’s face when the Boston Celtics organization decided to go public with a very private situation,» 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 called me to see if I’m okay. well, to see if my kids are okay. It’s very disappointing.»
The report added that Kez was removed from school when news broke that the Celtics suspended his father for the 2022-2023 season after an investigation by an independent law firm found an inappropriate relationship between Udoka and a woman. member of the organization among other violations of the policy.
Udoka issued a statement as the Celtics revealed the findings of their investigation, saying: «I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization and my family for letting them down. I’m sorry I put the team in this difficult situation and I accept the decision. of the team».
IME UDOKA MADE CRUDE OBSERVATIONS WHICH LEAD TO A YEAR SUSPENSION: REPORT
Long admitted that she was shocked by the news, but seeing the outpouring of love and support from friends, family and even on social media helped make the situation better.
«It literally felt like my heart had jumped out of my body,» she said. «And then what I found was this tribe of women and men who stood up for me in a way that made me feel like I was in this bubble of protection, and that was very comforting.»
Long and Udoka had been together since 2009 and got engaged in 2015, though Long noted that he had no intention of getting married. The Hollywood Reporter stated that Long would not commit to the current relationship between the two.
Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck said at the time that the organization learned of Udoka’s relationship with the employee over the summer.
CELTICS SUSPEND IME UDOKA FOR ENTIRE 2022-2023 SEASON FOR ‘VIOLATIONS OF TEAM POLICIES’
«I called the law firm at that point and the investigation had some twists and turns and it took some time to develop all the facts,» Grousbeck said.
«I took a lot of advice from partners like [Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens] and others. We collectively came to this and got there, but it wasn’t clear what to do. But it was clear that something substantial had to be done, in my opinion, and it was done.»
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Udoka led the Celtics to the NBA Finals in his first year as head coach. Boston named assistant coach Joe Mazzulla as interim head coach for the upcoming season, where his team currently leads the Eastern Conference with an 18-4 record.