Boston Celtics G.M. Brad Stevens will “absolutely not” go back to coaching the team while head coach Ime Udoka serves his suspension during the 2022-23 season, according to multiple sources.
On Thursday, the front office suspended Udoka for the 2022-23 season after discovering his consensual relationship with a woman within the organization. The coach violated team policies.
After issuing the suspension, majority owner Wyc Grousbeck told reporters, “It was not clear what to do, but it was clear that something substantial needed to be done, in my view, and it was.”
Without Udoka, sportsbooks are trusting the Celtics will remain a top playoff contender. According to NBA betting sites, oddsmakers are anticipating another playoff appearance in 2023.
Brad Stevens said he will “absolutely not” step into coach the Celtics this season if the team doesn’t perform well. Stevens said he didn’t even discuss it but then Grousbeck steps into say they did but it was a short discussion. Stevens was very complimentary of Joe Mazzulla.
— Mike Vorkunov (@MikeVorkunov) September 23, 2022
If the C’s struggle to win games next season, one thing is for certain: Stevens will not step in to coach the players. The 45-year-old prefers to manage the team nowadays.
“We have a lot of talented women in our organization, and I thought yesterday was really hard on them,” Stevens told ESPN reporter and journalist Malika Andrews.
“Nobody can control Twitter speculation and rampant bulls—t, but I do think we have a responsibility to make sure we are there to support them.”
Celtics G.M. Brad Stevens will not replace Ime Udoka
Stevens served as head coach of the Celtics for eight seasons from 2013 to 2021. In 636 career games, Stevens accumulated a 354-282 (.557) regular-season record. During his tenure, Boston finished 38-40 (.487) in the playoffs.
Under Stevens, the Celtics missed the playoffs in the 2013-14 season, following a 25-57 (.305) finish. Then, the C’s lost in the first round of the postseason in 2015 and 2016.
The NBA executive helped the team reach the Eastern Conference Finals three times during his coaching career. However, the C’s never advanced to the NBA Finals under Stevens.
For that reason alone, last season was special for the team. In Udoka’s first season as a head coach, the Celtics went 51-31 (.622) and ranked second overall in the Eastern Conference standings, trailing only the top-seeded Miami Heat.
Plus, Marcus Smart won Defensive Player of the Year.
During the 2022 NBA Playoffs, the C’s swept the Brooklyn Nets in the first round. The team then knocked off the Milwaukee Bucks in seven games during the second round.
Of course, the Celtics defeated the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals as well. Jayson Tatum won the league’s first ever ECFs MVP award.
While the C’s went on to lose in six games against the Golden State Warriors in the 2022 NBA Finals, it was their first Finals appearance since 2010.
Now, would the front office consider hiring Frank Vogel? The ex-Lakers head coach is a good friend of Brad Stevens. Last season, Vogel was fired by the Lakers in April after the team failed to qualify for the play-in tournament.