Ime Udoka’s interim suspension from his position as head coach and the allegations that he had an affair with Celtics employees were finally addressed by Nia Long in a statement that was just made public. She expressed gratitude for the “outpouring of love and support” to her family, friends, and supporters in the message.
Long told PEOPLE, “I am so grateful for the outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and the community at this trying time. “As I contemplate the recent events, I kindly ask that my privacy be respected. I am a mother first and foremost and will continue to put my children first “Long answered.
Udoka was recently dismissed from the Celtics as a result of his violation of “club regulations,” according to a statement released by the organization. Before the Celtics announcement, ESPN had reported that Udoka had “an intimate connection with a female staff member.”
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) September 23, 2022
NBA coach turned former professional basketball player Udoka. He took over as the Celtics’ head coach in 2021, and he helped the group win its first NBA championship since 2010. Long and Udoka have been together for a long time, and she has previously stated that they are happy not to be married.
Long provided People with an exclusive statement shortly after Udoka’s reported liaison with female staff members and suspension from his position as head coach became public knowledge. “The outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and the community at this terrible time means so lot to me,” the “Fatal Affair” actress added.
After the news was announced, Udoka received a lot of backlash on social media, but many others expressed their love and support for Long. Additionally, the actress requested that the public and media respect her privacy. I urge that my privacy be respected while I digest the recent events,” she stated. Since I am a mother first and foremost, I will continue to put my children first.
In 2011, Long and Udoka gave birth to a boy they called Kez Sunday Udoka. The “Are We There Yet” actress also shares a son with actor Massai Dorsey from “The Single Moms Club,” 21-year-old Massai Dorsey II.
The Bolton Celtics revealed on their official Twitter account on Thursday that Udoka had been immediately removed from his position as head coach by the organization. Udoka had broken “team policies,” according to the statement, and his future with the squad will be reviewed.
Just before the Celtics submitted their statement, ESPN released a report. According to the ESPN story, Udoka had “an intimate connection with a female employee of the franchise.” The team may suspend Udoka for the entire season, according to the report, but it’s doubtful that they’ll take any more action. Udoka, 45, had a great career as a professional basketball player before retiring and embarking on a new one as an NBA coach. Udoka spent seven years collaborating with San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, helping the group win a title in 2014.
2019 saw Udoka part ways with the Spurs, and he later served as an assistant coach for both the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers. He became the Celtics’ head coach in 2021, and in his first season in that position, he guided the club to the NBA Finals in 2022.
Since their engagement in 2015, Long and Udoka have not been legally wed. Long stated that she and Udoka were at ease not being legally married or holding a ceremony in an interview with Essence in 2020.
Love is complex, let’s just get that out of the way, she added. Afterwards, you begin a marriage. I have never been married. There’s a reason for that as I’m not certain that saying “I do” would convince you that I love you. But what exactly does marriage [mean]—that you now own me and I now own you? That portion eludes me.
The Boston Globe reports that Long and Udoka initially connected in Boston in 2010 thanks to a mutual acquaintance. Udoka was competing for the Sacramento Kings against the Boston Celtics when Long was in the city to film a pilot for NBC.