The Celtics are set to begin their training camp next week, but coach Emi Udoka will likely be out for much of the regular season. League sources confirmed to MassLive that Odoka faces possible suspension from the organization for violating team rules. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.com was the first to report the possible suspension.
In an appearance on ESPN’s SportsCenter, Wojnarowski laid out a possible timetable for the length of the suspension to be decided by the Celtics by the end of this week.
“I think there is clarity on the horizon about the potential length of this suspension,” Voinarovsky said. “Maybe in the next 24-48 hours. I think that’s coming. This is moving fast here in recent days. For this Boston organization on the cusp of training camp next week, this is definitely a huge deviation from the track for them.”
A league source told MassLive that assistant coach Joe Mazzola is a potential candidate to serve as interim coach for Boston if Odoka is suspended. Mazzulla on the Boston bench has been promoted to one of Udoka’s best assistants this off season following the appointment of Will Hardy by the Utah Jazz as their new head coach. Mazzulla was also a finalist for this jazz position. Damon Stoudemire and Ben Sullivan are Udoka’s best assistant coaches.
The Celtics are set to open training camp on Tuesday in Boston and the entire team will speak to the media on Monday for Media Day. This schedule will likely prompt the Celtics to quickly make a final decision on Udoka’s fate in the wake of his violation of team rules.
The reaction to any comment would be worth watching in the Boston locker room of the famous coach who was routinely praised by the team’s stars and veterans last year.
“You have a coach who embodies everything we embody,” Marcus Smart said last May. “We don’t want to be kids. We are big guys, we are professionals and we want to be treated that way, and he comes and does it. It helps us a lot.”
Boston will also miss Danilo Galinari (anterior cruciate ligament rupture) and Robert Williams (knee) during training camp after the veterans underwent surgery this week. Gallinari is expected to be out for this season and Williams is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.