NBA Champion Matt Barnes, who won the 2017 NBA Championship with the Golden State Warriors, recently posted to Instagram claiming that the suspension of Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka is “100 times uglier than any of us thought.”
The Boston Celtics suspended Udoka on September 22nd stating, “The Boston Celtics announced today that the team has suspended Head Coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-2023 season for violations of team policies.”
“A decision about his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date. The suspension takes effect immediately.”
Udoka issued his own statement via ESPN’s Malika Andrews. It reads, “I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down.”
“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,” he added.
It was originally reported that Udoka had engaged in a consensual relationship with a female staff member of the Celtics.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarwoski tweeted on the 22nd, “Boston Celtics coach Ime Udoka is likely facing a suspension for the entire 2022-2023 season for his role in a consensual relationship with a female staff member, sources tell ESPN. A formal announcement is expected as soon as today.”
However, it was later reported that the female staff member “recently accused him of making unwanted comments towards her.”
Barnes initially defended Udoka saying, “Just saw a year suspension was just handed down by the team for an inappropriate, consensual sexual situation with a female that worked in the organization. I’ve played in the league for a long time. Anyone who played in the league could tell you this is a very common situation.
“This is not new news for people who been in the league or even around organizations. I’ve seen it from owners to executives to coaches to players to trainers to therapists to dancers to PR ladies. This is not uncommon,” he added.
He would recant this comments in a follow-up post to Instagram, which has also been deleted.
He stated, “Since I am part of the media now, and I try not to be like everyone else. I try to report and talk with facts and honesty. And I clearly have to say last night without knowing all the facts I spoke on Ime Udoka’s defense. And after finding out the facts after I spoke I erased what I posted because this situation in Boston is deep. It’s messy. It’s 100 times uglier than any of us thought. And that’s why I erased what I said.”
He continued, “Some things happened that I can’t condone, I can’t back. It’s not my place to tell you what happened. If it ends up coming out, it ends up coming out. But that was the reason why I erased my post last night because after I posted it I got a call from someone who had all the details and the s**t is deep.”
“So, man, praying for everybody involved. Hope everyone gets through this. I saw a lot of blogs picked up what I said even though it was only on my page for like two minutes so hopefully they pick this up too for me being wrong and jumping out there without the facts,” he concluded.