An unexpected and sordid scandal has rocked the worlds of both entertainment and professional sports.
On Thursday, the Boston Celtics took the very unusual route of suspending its head coach, Ime Udoka, for the entirety of the 2022-2023 season.
It did so because Udoka — who led the team to the NBA Finals this past year — allegedly violated team policies…
… by sleeping with a fellow employee.
“The Boston Celtics announced today that the team has suspended Head Coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season for violations of team policies,” the team announced in an official press release on Thursday, September 22.
A decision about his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date. The suspension takes effect immediately.”
According to various NBA insiders, Udoka had been carrying on a consensual affair with someone on Boston’s staff.
According to TMZ, meanwhile, Udoka was aware that his bosses had learned about this relationship all the way back in July — and yet he didn’t say a word to Long as she moved the couple’s son with her to Boston just a few weeks ago.
“The outpouring of love and support from family, friends and the community during this difficult time means so much to me,” Long has now said in a statement.
“I ask that my privacy be respected as I process the recent events.
“Above all, I am a mother and will continue to focus on my children.”
The actress and Udoka have been engaged since 2015.
They welcomed a son named Kez Sunday Udoka in 2011. (Long has another son, 21-year-old Massai Dorsey II, from a previous relationship with actor Massai Dorsey.)
Following the news of his suspension, Udoka gave a statement of his own to ESPN reporter Malika Andrews.
“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down,” he 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.”
Hours after the news broke on Thursday, Long posted a cryptic message on her Instagram Story, alongside a video of a peaceful nature scene.
The caption read as follows:
“When you see people change their whole life and start walking down a path of enlightenment — I’m talking about hugging trees, connecting with nature, loving themselves, embracing positivity, letting that light shine.”