Ime Udoka suspended for the 22-23 season

OurF'ingCity

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If you're the head coach, you're not allowed to bang people in the organization, full stop. The head coach has sufficient power that any "consensual" relationship will have a problematic power dynamic, legally.
This, plus it raises all sorts of other questions that aren’t conducive to a healthy working environment. Say a CEO has a consensual affair with the general counsel of the company, or the director of marketing, or head of HR, or what have you. Suddenly now there’s a question as to whether the CEO played favorites as part of that relationship, or whether the other person felt comfortable pushing back on the CEO in terms of business decisions, etc.

If the other person in Ime’s relationship wasn’t a direct or indirect report to him, that lessens those concerns somewhat, but companies generally have strict bans on this kind of thing so that they don’t have to get into judgment calls on how “bad” the relationship was.

And putting aside the competitive aspects of this, I think it makes a ton of sense to punish Ime harshly for this - if there was any internal sense that Ime got off easy for this that could piss off other, lower-level staffers or suggest the rules as a whole aren’t enforced as written.

Put another way, the reason companies have policies like this, even putting aside the legitimate concerns about power imbalances, is because these situations always create major disruptions within the organization, as we are clearly seeing here.
 

Jimbodandy

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This, plus it raises all sorts of other questions that aren’t conducive to a healthy working environment. Say a CEO has a consensual affair with the general counsel of the company, or the director of marketing, or head of HR, or what have you. Suddenly now there’s a question as to whether the CEO played favorites as part of that relationship, or whether the other person felt comfortable pushing back on the CEO in terms of business decisions, etc.

If the other person in Ime’s relationship wasn’t a direct or indirect report to him, that lessens those concerns somewhat, but companies generally have strict bans on this kind of thing so that they don’t have to get into judgment calls on how “bad” the relationship was.

And putting aside the competitive aspects of this, I think it makes a ton of sense to punish Ime harshly for this - if there was any internal sense that Ime got off easy for this that could piss off other, lower-level staffers or suggest the rules as a whole aren’t enforced as written.

Put another way, the reason companies have policies like this, even putting aside the legitimate concerns about power imbalances, is because these situations always create major disruptions within the organization, as we are clearly seeing here.
I couldn't disagree with this more. The Celtics are not an accounting firm. We don't know for sure if there was a power imbalance between the parties in Udoka's favor. But if there was not, as a stakeholder/investor in the team you should care more about what the 15 players think that Betty and Bob from marketing.
 

Leather

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Just speculating, but I would guess there's legal/employment law reasons...or possibly player-relations reasons...they are doing a year rather than firing him. I agree with those who say that from a team perspective the line between what would qualify for one vs the other is very hard to discern.
I don't know what the Celtics employee handbook states or what their previous cases of fraternization have resulted in, but consistency in punishment is key in doling out discipline in large organizations. If they gave the HC a slap on the wrist but terminate(d) a mid-level marketing manager for the same type of thing, it makes their entire process look arbitrary and capricious and won't be granted much deference should it go to court.

Also just to chime in on why office-place romances are/should be discouraged as a matter of policy, especially when it involves someone higher up in the chain of command; it creates an ongoing possibility and perception of a conflict of interest. "Gotta treat the person well, or else the boss might get mad because their in a relationship". On the flipside, any adverse employment action against the lower-level person, even if it's ostensibly well-deserved, creates a high risk of a sexual harassment claim.
 

PedroKsBambino

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Austin Ainge and a future pick to Danny for Will Hardy?

What a distraction and a mess.
 

Leather

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I couldn't disagree with this more. The Celtics are not an accounting firm. We don't know for sure if there was a power imbalance between the parties in Udoka's favor. But if there was not, as a stakeholder/investor in the team you should care more about what the 15 players think that Betty and Bob from marketing.
There doesn't need to be an actual abuse of power for there to be an issue. Merely that it's a possibility is enough to create a huge internal conflict of interest issue. And again; it's not just those two. It's everyone that has to interact with the subordinate that also have to worry about whether their interactions will receive unfair scrutiny by higher-ups because of the relationship.

Also: office relationships can, and often do, turn really, really, bad. They can make a work environment turn toxic faster than pretty much anything. And a toxic work environments are breeding grounds for lawsuits, often very public ones, that are really bad for a brand.
 

Mystic Merlin

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I couldn't disagree with this more. The Celtics are not an accounting firm. We don't know for sure if there was a power imbalance between the parties in Udoka's favor. But if there was not, as a stakeholder/investor in the team you should care more about what the 15 players think that Betty and Bob from accounting.
You should absolutely not care about what the players think if you’re going to enforce employment policies for misconduct. Unless you are fine consecrating a dysfunctional work culture where the views of those with status/power determines how those policies are applied, and that dysfunction plays out in a range of destructive legal and cultural ways.
 

Ed Hillel

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Amazing we don’t have any better reporting atm. I’m not entirely sure what the strategy of the person leaking all this is.
 

radsoxfan

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Austin Ainge and a future pick to Danny for Will Hardy?

What a distraction and a mess.
It’s a bummer Hardy left. Wonder if he had any inkling shit might hit the fan.

I hope this doesn’t devolve into some race thing…. Of course hard to know without all the details.

Jaylen especially would seem likely to take a stand on this if he thinks something like that is in play. We certainly don’t want him disgruntled or looking to leave. Egh.
 
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OurF'ingCity

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I couldn't disagree with this more. The Celtics are not an accounting firm. We don't know for sure if there was a power imbalance between the parties in Udoka's favor. But if there was not, as a stakeholder/investor in the team you should care more about what the 15 players think that Betty and Bob from marketing.
This argument doesn’t make sense to me for numerous reasons. First, teams routinely discipline and fire coaches for numerous reasons regardless of what players think. What if the issue here was not an improper relationship but rather some other policy violation, like if the team discovered Ime was leaking team information to another team, or had stolen team property or something? You think it would still be ok to essentially ignore it if the players didn’t want him to be punished harshly?

Second, it would a terrible PR look for the Celtics to essentially say “yeah, Ime broke the rules, but since he’s well-liked by the players we’re not going to punish him as much as we otherwise would.” I think the owners of the Cs are smart enough to not want to be known as “that team where they let the coach off easy for having an inappropriate relationship” - that would be far worse than any short-term impact on wins and losses.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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For what’s it’s worth, and I that’s close to nothing, my company’s policy is similar to @Sandwich Pick in that senior/subordinate relationships are discouraged but ultimately fine if disclosed to upper mgmt/HR.
Your firm might want to talk to better lawyers.

When things go bad in such a relationship, it's pretty common for the company to be brought into it. Whether it's harassment, failure to promote, not getting the "right" work projects; other employees alleging favortism (etc.) - there are multiple ways for the company to be drawn into disputes and eventually litigation arising out of these types of relationships. Which is why the strict ban in what I would think to be most companies.
 

OurF'ingCity

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But why? Very strange there’s like an oath between reporters not to be the first to report something?
I suspect this is an area where the media is very, very sensitive about not jumping the gun on things. It’s one thing to report a trade that turns out to have been incorrect but another thing entirely to mis-report the details of a sexual relationship. That’s the kind of thing that could open them up to a libel lawsuit (admittedly as long as they were reporting in good faith I have a hard time seeing how such a suit could be successful, but ESPN presumably doesn’t want that headache in the first place).
 

Jimbodandy

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This argument doesn’t make sense to me for numerous reasons. First, teams routinely discipline and fire coaches for numerous reasons regardless of what players think. What if the issue here was not an improper relationship but rather some other policy violation, like if the team discovered Ime was leaking team information to another team, or had stolen team property or something? You think it would still be ok to essentially ignore it if the players didn’t want him to be punished harshly?

Second, it would a terrible PR look for the Celtics to essentially say “yeah, Ime broke the rules, but since he’s well-liked by the players we’re not going to punish him as much as we otherwise would.” I think the owners of the Cs are smart enough to not want to be known as “that team where they let the coach off easy for having an inappropriate relationship” - that would be far worse than any short-term impact on wins and losses.
Yeah if it's an inappropriate relationship, I'm right there with you. If there was any way for the other party in the relationship to be harmed by Ime professionally or personally, I'd be driving him to the airport too. If it's "well you aren't technically allowed to sleep with anyone employed by the team", then we're whacking the guy on a technicality. The players are the product, not the guy who fixes the copier.
 

GeorgeCostanza

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Your firm might want to talk to better lawyers.

When things go bad in such a relationship, it's pretty common for the company to be brought into it. Whether it's harassment, failure to promote, not getting the "right" work projects; other employees alleging favortism (etc.) - there are multiple ways for the company to be drawn into disputes and eventually litigation arising out of these types of relationships. Which is why the strict ban in what I would think to be most companies.
Our parent company is Canadian for what it’s worth. They really are wonderful people those canucks.
 

rodderick

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I suspect this is an area where the media is very, very sensitive about not jumping the gun on things. It’s one thing to report a trade that turns out to have been incorrect but another thing entirely to mis-report the details of a sexual relationship. That’s the kind of thing that could open them up to a libel lawsuit (admittedly as long as they were reporting in good faith I have a hard time seeing how such a suit could be successful, but ESPN presumably doesn’t want that headache in the first place).
It's also strong indication there's more to this than "cheated on his wife with an employee of the team".
 

Leather

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Yeah if it's an inappropriate relationship, I'm right there with you. If there was any way for the other party in the relationship to be harmed by Ime professionally or personally, I'd be driving him to the airport too. If it's "well you aren't technically allowed to sleep with anyone employed by the team", then we're whacking the guy on a technicality. The players are the product, not the guy who fixes the copier.
The issue isn't harm to the subordinate; that's merely the worst case plausible outcome. The existence of the relationship impacts every interaction between the two, and also between the subordinate and others who know about the relationship. It necessarily corrupts rational decision making. And it puts the organization on its heels if anybody in the orbit suffers an adverse employment action that can in any way be linked to the relationship, whether the link is real or imagined.
 

ifmanis5

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He has to be fired or quit. Suspension makes no sense, he's not going to command any respect in the organization. Has to move on.
 

HomeRunBaker

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He has to be fired or quit. Suspension makes no sense, he's not going to command any respect in the organization. Has to move on.
Seriously? In a league where infidelity has historically run rampant it’s more likely the 25-yr old players are judging the quality of Ime’s catch.
 

ifmanis5

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Seriously? In a league where infidelity has historically run rampant it’s more likely the 25-yr old players are judging the quality of Ime’s catch.
Imagine being in a meeting with this guy. Any disagreement is going to end with 'or what, you'll eff my wife?' This is done. Sorry.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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He has to be fired or quit. Suspension makes no sense, he's not going to command any respect in the organization. Has to move on.
At this point, this is about the only assumption that feels reasonable. Udoka is almost certainly gone. Everything else including the fallout is TBD.
 

NDame616

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Any links to this?
I think there was a tweet going around where he was walking back to the locker room and put his hand on a female staffer's shoulder. This was at like 8 AM so....a lot has changed
 

Omar's Wacky Neighbor

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Leaving in a bit to the studio :)
Any links to this?
I saw it on twitter hours ago, can't find it now. It was the network feed of everyone coming down the hallway and into the locker room after game 7. I didn't see anything at all incriminating: I mean, he innocuously touched her arm as he walked into the locker room, tho she was close to him at the front of the room once all the players got there.
 

PedroKsBambino

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This is crazy talk imo. Playoff time, late 4Q……Tatum turns the ball over bc he’s thinking about Ime’s extracurricular activities.
So you're saying THAT was what was going on wtih Tatum and Brown in Finals, are you?
 

lexrageorge

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Seriously? In a league where infidelity has historically run rampant it’s more likely the 25-yr old players are judging the quality of Ime’s catch.
Yeah, the players aren’t going to care about what they consider to be “front office dirty laundry.” Their reality is that a new coach is going to have to win over the locker room in very short order.
 

Shelterdog

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Seriously? In a league where infidelity has historically run rampant it’s more likely the 25-yr old players are judging the quality of Ime’s catch.
This is why running a pro sports team would be so hard. To be really good you need to have some truly talented players on your team and you have to keep them happy--which might not line up with how you'd run a functional organization is most any other part of society. Like what if Jayson Tatum and Brown think this is a horrible mistake and it pushes them towards trying to leave the league? What do free agents think about playing in a city with a bad reputation on race for a team with a (perhaps undeservedly) bad reputation on race when that team suspended its black coach for having a consensual affair--and you've got to know that a lot of the league knows about various owners, GMs and coaches (many of them white) who had affairs and didn't lose their jobs. Creating an attitude conducive to keeping not just professional athletes, but the handful of difference making professional athletes, happy is not for the faint of heart.