Ime Udoka suspended for the 22-23 season

Leather

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Clearly, ESPN and others in the media are overplaying the "consensual" angle. At the same time, viewers would infer "non-consensual" to mean "rape", which is not at all close to what happened here (or Ime would have been fired immediately). And ESPN cannot easily say "harassment", as nobody has come out and specifically said the relationship was workplace harassment, even if it almost certainly was.

But, yes, ESPN could do better to highlight the "multiple violations" every time they say "consensual".
It could absolutely have been a consensual relationship that resulted in sexual harassment or any number of other employment type violations. A relationship between a boss and a subordinate is not, per se, a non-consensual relationship. It's not even necessarily sexual harassment; it's a scenario that creates a HIGH RISK of sexual harassment or other violations taking place, which is why employers need to have a policy that prohibits it. Bill and Melinda Gates famously met when Bill was her boss; that was not sexual harassment.

But you're right: nobody has alleged any harassment claims yet, and if there were, I'd have to believe they would have fired him outright because the blowback (internally and externally) of not having a zero-tolerance policy for substantiated sexual harassment against a subordinate would be too much for ownership to bear.

Reading the tea-leaves, I'm guess that there isn't a sexual harassment claim here. I'm guessing Ime's (consensual) shitty conduct with female staffers created a rotten work environment for multiple employees that finally got to the level where the Celtics were facing genuine and substantiated Respectful Workplace Policy violation complaints from and against numerous individuals, and it got too loud to ignore, likely because Ime was at the center of it. That, in addition to a violation of a Celtics policy not to have relationships with co-workers/subordinates, are the "multiple policy" violations that Ime is being suspended for.
 

Marciano490

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It could absolutely have been a consensual relationship that resulted in sexual harassment or any number of other employment type violations. A relationship between a boss and a subordinate is not, per se, a non-consensual relationship. It's not even necessarily sexual harassment; it's a scenario that creates a HIGH RISK of sexual harassment or other violations taking place, which is why employers need to have a policy that prohibits it. Bill and Melinda Gates famously met when Bill was her boss; that was not sexual harassment.

But you're right: nobody has alleged any harassment claims yet, and if there were, I'd have to believe they would have fired him outright because the blowback (internally and externally) of not having a zero-tolerance policy for substantiated sexual harassment against a subordinate would be too much for ownership to bear.

Reading the tea-leaves, I'm guess that there isn't a sexual harassment claim here. I'm guessing Ime's (consensual) shitty conduct with female staffers created a rotten work environment for multiple employees that finally got to the level where the Celtics were facing genuine and substantiated Respectful Workplace Policy violation complaints from and against numerous individuals, and it got too loud to ignore, likely because Ime was at the center of it. That, in addition to a violation of a Celtics policy not to have relationships with co-workers/subordinates, are the "multiple policy" violations that Ime is being suspended for.
It’s possible, but it doesn’t explain the Barnes reaction. I believe he was also involved in an adultery-esque scandal, so if he’s shook I’d imagine it’s more than just Ime treating the organization like his personal Tinder.
 

HomeRunBaker

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It’s possible, but it doesn’t explain the Barnes reaction. I believe he was also involved in an adultery-esque scandal, so if he’s shook I’d imagine it’s more than just Ime treating the organization like his personal Tinder.
Yes to this! You have to ask yourself, “Would Barnes (and more recently some others) reaction stem only from the information that we know today?”

For me, that answer is absolutely not. My read here is that there is another woman involved in the office and she is probably married as well. Speculation of course but I’m fairly certain we haven’t heard the last of Ime bombs whatever they may be.
 
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Yes to this! You have to ask yourself, “Would Barnes (and more recently some others) reaction stem only from the information that we know today?”

For me, that answer is absolutely not. My read here is that there is another woman involved in the office and she is probably married as well. Speculation of course but I’m fairly certain we haven’t heard the last of Ime bombs whatever they may be.
And I'm sure it's been discussed here ad nauseam, but at the most simple level, why would the Celtics do this unless it was a major, major infraction? They have a young, black, popular head coach who just lead the team to the NBA Finals in his first year. They're widely considered to be one of the biggest contenders for the championship this year. They're not going to throw that chance away unless it was something very serious.
 

DJnVa

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Tatum mentioned today that he found this out through twitter and has not spoken to Ime at all.
 

TheRooster

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Safest thing for the organization AND for the players to have told them very little before today's event. You can't let anything slip if you don't know anything.
 

radsoxfan

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Yes to this! You have to ask yourself, “Would Barnes (and more recently some others) reaction stem only from the information that we know today?”

For me, that answer is absolutely not. My read here is that there is another woman involved in the office and she is probably married as well. Speculation of course but I’m fairly certain we haven’t heard the last of Ime bombs whatever they may be.
100%.

Unless Barnes (and others) get duped and someone told him a fake story, we should all just assume this was very bad, very messy and the Celtics were justified to suspend Ime for the year (and probably never bring him back).

It's frustrating such a large chunk of the media is still running with the bare bones version of "consensual relationship", but what can you do.

I'm sure everyone at this point with the Celtics just wants to the story to fade away as fast as possible so no there is no point in trying to leak more clarification.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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Safest thing for the organization AND for the players to have told them very little before today's event. You can't let anything slip if you don't know anything.
Exactly, you don't want the players unintentionally leaking sensitive information and I am fairly certain the players want to compartmentalize and NOT know the details. Just reinforce to the players that Ime did some serious shit and the suspension was not done lightly.
 

NomarsFool

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Unless Barnes (and others) get duped and someone told him a fake story, we should all just assume this was very bad, very messy and the Celtics were justified to suspend Ime for the year (and probably never bring him back).
I agree and think we also shouldn't read too much into Barnes' take. It's a frustrating situation, as we all want to know what the situation is, but it's too easy for the pendulum to swing from "Ime forgot to put the correct covers on his TPS reports" to "Ime is guilty of genocide" and back again as we deal with these little bits of "information".
 

ManicCompression

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Bill and Melinda Gates famously met when Bill was her boss; that was not sexual harassment.
More specific to the NBA, Erik Spoelstra married a Miami Heat dancer in 2015. These lines are not always so obvious. I don't think we'd retroactively call him a predator or sexual harasser just for starting a relationship with her.
 

RG33

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More specific to the NBA, Erik Spoelstra married a Miami Heat dancer in 2015. These lines are not always so obvious. I don't think we'd retroactively call him a predator or sexual harasser just for starting a relationship with her.
For the record, Spoelstra met his now wife in her last year as a dancer for the team, 2008, and they did not start dating until after she left the team. They are still married and have two kids.
 

Rovin Romine

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Shades of Rudy Macklin (LSU) the day Reagan was shot. “No kin of mine.”

https://www.espnfrontrow.com/2016/03/30-30-short-no-kin-revisits-rudy-macklin-controversy/amp/
Um. No. https://www.salon.com/2014/01/11/the_racism_at_the_heart_of_the_reagan_presidency/

Reagan also trumpeted his racial appeals in blasts against welfare cheats. On the stump, Reagan repeatedly invoked a story of a “Chicago welfare queen” with “eighty names, thirty addresses, [and] twelve Social Security cards [who] is collecting veteran’s benefits on four non-existing deceased husbands. She’s got Medicaid, getting food stamps, and she is collecting welfare under each of her names. Her tax-free cash income is over $150,000.” Often, Reagan placed his mythical welfare queen behind the wheel of a Cadillac, tooling around in flashy splendor. Beyond propagating the stereotypical image of a lazy, larcenous black woman ripping off society’s generosity without remorse, Reagan also implied another stereotype, this one about whites: they were the workers, the tax payers, the persons playing by the rules and struggling to make ends meet while brazen minorities partied with their hard-earned tax dollars. More directly placing the white voter in the story, Reagan frequently elicited supportive outrage by criticizing the food stamp program as helping “some young fellow ahead of you to buy a T-bone steak” while “you were waiting in line to buy hamburger.” This was the toned-down version. When he first field-tested the message in the South, that “young fellow” was more particularly described as a “strapping young buck.” The epithet “buck” has long been used to conjure the threatening image of a physically powerful black man often one who defies white authority and who lusts for white women. When Reagan used the term “strapping young buck,” his whistle shifted dangerously toward the fully audible range. “Some young fellow” was less overtly racist and so carried less risk of censure, and worked just as well to provoke a sense of white victimization.
 

shoelace

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View: https://mobile.twitter.com/GwashburnGlobe/status/1574455417081843712

"...happened TO him."

That's an awful soundbite. The Celtics have to figure out a way to let the players know the severity of what happened even if they can't discuss the details.
Marcus Smart said "the organization handled it the right way" during his comments today, I believe in response to this same question. But, I'm sure that won't make it into whatever gets published by the dipshit asking the question. The sports media has done an embarassing, awful job of covering this story and they are generally awful at everything they do, so it's not surprising to see this continuing. The only conclusion to draw is that the majority of these people are hacks and that the work they do in general is repackaging quotes, taken out of context, to feed into the sports media hot take economy. Sports journalism is not a real thing.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Marcus Smart said "the organization handled it the right way" during his comments today, I believe in response to this same question. But, I'm sure that won't make it into whatever gets published by the dipshit asking the question. The sports media has done an embarassing, awful job of covering this story and they are generally awful at everything they do, so it's not surprising to see this continuing. The only conclusion to draw is that the majority of these people are hacks and that the work they do in general is repackaging quotes, taken out of context, to feed into the sports media hot take economy.
Barring the details, they'll just double down than admit they were wrong.

It's not just the sports media though. The country as a whole doesn't seem to care too much about women being harassed by ex's.
 

HomeRunBaker

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lexrageorge

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I’ve been trying to tell y’all…..this is the NBA culture right here in a nutshell. Many players, maybe most, will feel that Ime was wronged here or simply caught a bad break.
The full answer (as opposed to Washburn's snippet deliberately taken out of context), noted above, makes it seem like Marcus Smart thinks it's the latter, not the former.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I’ve been trying to tell y’all…..this is the NBA culture right here in a nutshell. Many players, maybe most, will feel that Ime was wronged here or simply caught a bad break.
We just had two posts before you saying that Smart's comments are out of context. Furthermore, we have the Matt Barnes post that goes counter to the perception that Udoka caught a bad break.

You likely aren't wrong that NBA culture tends to look at affairs, even within an organization, differently than some other industries (though this incident is your coal mine canary telling you that may well have changed, at least from the perspective of the teams) but that doesn't feel like what is happening here.

As was noted upthread, the silence from the players, especially after Barnes did his walk back is noteworthy. It feels like those who know the story want nothing to do with it if they aren't involved already.
 

Shelterdog

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I’ve been trying to tell y’all…..this is the NBA culture right here in a nutshell. Many players, maybe most, will feel that Ime was wronged here or simply caught a bad break.
I think players, the media, and a ton of fans who aren't in a weird self selecting group of (at least demographically speaking) educated/affluent/northeastern/somewhat liberal professionals are going to say it this way, at least until a story that's actually damning becomes public. This is too high profile a job for the story "he did something wrong and we're not going to say what it is but he knows he was very bad" to be accepted as a reasonable answer when there's so little publicly available beyond the idea that there was an affair. Maybe the Celtics don't care (or more likely maybe they're just not saying shit until the settlement and release gets worked out because lord they don't want an employment discrimination or wrongful termination suit filed by Ime) but the story that's been provided so far doesn't wash. (I see that knowing it's almost a moral certainty that there's worse out there and thinking it's highly likely that we'd think the C's did the right thing if we had access to the info they had).
 

BigSoxFan

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Who do we think Barnes’ source is? Definitely not the Celtics. Can’t imagine anyone on Ime’s side would have told him, “hey, this was actually much, MUCH worse” so I’m genuinely interested to know where he’s getting his info. A player on the Celtics who knows more than he is letting on, perhaps? I have no idea. But his walk back was clearly driven by something.
 

PedrosRedGlove

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Baseless speculation as this all is but...

It's worth noting Barnes's time in the league overlapped 5 years with Damon Stoudamire and 10 with Al Horford. They're on the shortlist of people who may actually know details outside of the parties involved, Celtics upper management, and the lawfirm(s).

I trust Barnes as much as I reasonably can just because of his position in the NBA community. He and Stephen Jackson feel like the young uncles of the league with All The Smoke, Barnes played for 9 different teams in his career, Jackson, 8. Between them they probably have contacts with everyone that's played in the NBA in the last two decades.
 

SuperManny

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Baseless speculation as this all is but...

It's worth noting Barnes's time in the league overlapped 5 years with Damon Stoudamire and 10 with Al Horford. They're on the shortlist of people who may actually know details outside of the parties involved, Celtics upper management, and the lawfirm(s).

I trust Barnes as much as I reasonably can just because of his position in the NBA community. He and Stephen Jackson feel like the young uncles of the league with All The Smoke, Barnes played for 9 different teams in his career, Jackson, 8. Between them they probably have contacts with everyone that's played in the NBA in the last two decades.
I haven't been following it that closely but the quotes I've seen from the players indicate that they don't know anything more than the public.

https://theathletic.com/3631755/2022/09/26/celtics-ime-udoka-joe-mazzulla/
“It’s been hell for us,” Marcus Smart said on Monday’s media day. “Caught by surprise. Nobody really knows anything, so we’re just in the wind like everybody else. So these last couple of days have been confusing.”

“As a player, you’d like to know,” Smart said. “But that’s none of our business and it’s their lives, the people that are involved. It’s between them and we should respect that privacy.”

“I wish we had more details,” Jaylen Brown said. “From what we know, it’s hard to make a decision based upon whether it’s consensual or not in the workplace or whatever’s going on, which we’ve known that’s happened before in the workplace. But I guess there’s more to it than (that) possibly, which I don’t know. I don’t have all the details. It’s not being shared with me.”
View: https://twitter.com/jaredweissnba/status/1574445712611414019?s=46&t=5f8ZjGrpZ82JtfiFKZLCLQ


Jayson Tatum on how Celtics handled Udoka suspension: "If you read the statement and you watch the press conference, apparently there’a a lot of things that you can’t speak about. Apparently, I’m in the same boat of ‘I don’t know.’"

Tatum: "How did I find out? Shit, on Twitter, like everybody else."
 

8slim

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View: https://mobile.twitter.com/GwashburnGlobe/status/1574455417081843712

"...happened TO him."

That's an awful soundbite. The Celtics have to figure out a way to let the players know the severity of what happened even if they can't discuss the details.
It's not that awful. Something objectively awful has happened to Ime -- the guy may be unlikely to head coach ever again -- but Smart didn't say it was undeserved or that he disagrees with the consequence for Ime's actions.
 

Rovin Romine

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It's not that awful. Something objectively awful has happened to Ime -- the guy may be unlikely to head coach ever again -- but Smart didn't say it was undeserved or that he disagrees with the consequence for Ime's actions.
The sentence "It's just something unfortunate has happened to him," implies a lack of agency on Ime's part - like when a bird shits on your head, or you lose your mid-level job because the company closed down through no fault of your own. It's not a sentence one usually applies to deliberate rule-breaking or bad-actions. Because it implies the exact opposite.

So one can read it as: 1) a validation of Ime's underlying actions - and that the "unfortunate" thing that "happened to him" was that he got caught, or punished. Or 2) that the underlying action was something he had no agency in - whatever it was "happened to him." Just like a bird shitting on his head.

Either way, I'd guess it's very much an attempt to minimize things without thinking it through.
 

8slim

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The sentence "It's just something unfortunate has happened to him," implies a lack of agency on Ime's part - like when a bird shits on your head, or you lose your mid-level job because the company closed down through no fault of your own. It's not a sentence one usually applies to deliberate rule-breaking or bad-actions. Because it implies the exact opposite.

So one can read it as: 1) a validation of Ime's underlying actions - and that the "unfortunate" thing that "happened to him" was that he got caught, or punished. Or 2) that the underlying action was something he had no agency in - whatever it was "happened to him." Just like a bird shitting on his head.

Either way, I'd guess it's very much an attempt to minimize things without thinking it through.
Or it's a portion of a quote from a pro athlete on a day when he was likely asked variations on the same question roughly 100 times.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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It's not that awful. Something objectively awful has happened to Ime -- the guy may be unlikely to head coach ever again -- but Smart didn't say it was undeserved or that he disagrees with the consequence for Ime's actions.
The sentence "It's just something unfortunate has happened to him," implies a lack of agency on Ime's part - like when a bird shits on your head, or you lose your mid-level job because the company closed down through no fault of your own. It's not a sentence one usually applies to deliberate rule-breaking or bad-actions. Because it implies the exact opposite.

So one can read it as: 1) a validation of Ime's underlying actions - and that the "unfortunate" thing that "happened to him" was that he got caught, or punished. Or 2) that the underlying action was something he had no agency in - whatever it was "happened to him." Just like a bird shitting on his head.

Either way, I'd guess it's very much an attempt to minimize things without thinking it through.
Smart says he doesn't know what happened. To me, he's basically saying that he has a relationship with Ime that would survive whatever happened, for better or for worse.

I don't think he's trying to make a statement on what actually happened.
 

reggiecleveland

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The full answer (as opposed to Washburn's snippet deliberately taken out of context), noted above, makes it seem like Marcus Smart thinks it's the latter, not the former.
It is shocking how quickly even college players will move when a coach leaves. I remember a story when a coach, coming off previous seasons where he won the conference twice in a row and one national championship, suddenly died. A grief counselor came in to talk to the players and was shocked that most of them saw it as either a positive or negative in terms of potential playing time. The best players seem almost unconcerned, having confidence in their abilities to maintain their status.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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It feels like we need the actual facts of this case, as well as context around quotes before we start determining which of those close to it is good and evil.
 

joe dokes

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Or he plays basketball for a living and isn't that careful with his words. Hopefully, someone will give him some feedback.
Right. I'm not going to ding a player for speaking in the passive voice when he's: 1) not the one ducking responsibility; and 2) not in possession of (m)any of the details.
 

RorschachsMask

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NomarsFool

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Matt Barnes went on DJ Vlad a few days ago, but it just got posted today. He said it’s about the who Ime had the affair with, more than about the what. He said Ime will be lucky to ever coach in the NBA again.
The interviewer said that, and Matt Barnes did agree with it, but it's a slightly different nuance than if Matt Barnes had mentioned that.

It's weird, it's hard for me to imagine why it would matter so much who it was, vs. what exactly went down. Or to put it better, who in the organization would be so egregious to get that kind of reaction from Matt Barnes? Owner's wife? Player's wife? Because simply having an affair with a travel secretary doesn't seem like that would get him a year's suspension and unlikely to coach again - unless of course there was other bad stuff around that relationship. It seemed like that was the assumption from last week, but this interview seems to spin things a little differently. Hard to read the tea leaves.
 

RorschachsMask

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The interviewer said that, and Matt Barnes did agree with it, but it's a slightly different nuance than if Matt Barnes had mentioned that.

It's weird, it's hard for me to imagine why it would matter so much who it was, vs. what exactly went down. Or to put it better, who in the organization would be so egregious to get that kind of reaction from Matt Barnes? Owner's wife? Player's wife? Because simply having an affair with a travel secretary doesn't seem like that would get him a year's suspension and unlikely to coach again - unless of course there was other bad stuff around that relationship. It seemed like that was the assumption from last week, but this interview seems to spin things a little differently. Hard to read the tea leaves.
Barnes could know nothing, or he could know a false rumor. But I have a hard time ignoring the fact that he publicly backtracked so hard, while Richard Jefferson was implying the same things.

I don’t want the situation to get out, but I feel like it’s a matter of time until TMZ or someone like Kevin Frazier drop it.
 

Steve Dillard

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My BIL in Boston sent around a story that seemed pretty clear about the who, how and why, that meshes with the items said here (e.g., the security cam phone call, VPs, etc.) I think his only source of news would be Felger & Mazz, so assume those story lines are pretty well "established" now. Short version, husband was also team vp, close to ownership group.
 

radsoxfan

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My BIL in Boston sent around a story that seemed pretty clear about the who, how and why, that meshes with the items said here (e.g., the security cam phone call, VPs, etc.) I think his only source of news would be Felger & Mazz, so assume those story lines are pretty well "established" now. Short version, husband was also team vp, close to ownership group.
There is “something” more than just a single affair with 1 person, regardless of who that person might be.

They found out about some relationship in July, hired the law firm, the investigation took some “twists and turns” per Wyc, and they got the report a couple days before he was suspended.

There is a 0% chance they found about a relationship (no matter how egregious), hired the law firm, the law firm confirmed it, and we ended up here.