Celtics co-owner Wick Grosbeek said Friday that Celtics’ suspension of Amy Odoka for the 2022-23 season came after an investigation by an outside law firm found he had a “number of violations” of team policy, adding that they remain. with punishment (which some considered too severe).
And no, Brad Stevens will not return to the bench.
Those were two of the takeaways from Grosbeek and team boss Brad Stevens at Friday’s press conference. While the pair avoided discussing the details of the allegations against Udoka – who had an inappropriate intimate relationship with a Celtics employee – some things became clear.
Here are the key points from the press conference and reports since the announcement.
• Grosbeek said the Celtics team spent months investigating this situation and hired an outside law firm to do so. The investigation concluded on Wednesday and found the “magnitude of violations” of the team’s code of conduct, which led to the team’s suspension of Odoka. Subsequent reports by Shams Charania of The Athletic found that “the woman had recently accused Udoka of making unsolicited comments towards her”. Sources told NBC Sports that a serious power dynamic was involved in the situation and it was more chaotic than early reports about the proposal.
• The Celtics players were “very concerned about this” and Grosbeek spoke to them about the situation.
• Stevens almost cried due to random speculation circulating on Twitter about the identity of the woman involved with Odoka (some Celtics fans have been speculating and posting photos of the employees on social media, unfairly dragging them into this nightmare).
“We have a lot of talented women in our organization. I thought yesterday was really hard for them,” Stevens said. “No one can control Twitter speculation, rampant bulls *** but I think we as an organization have a responsibility to make sure we are there to support them now. Because so many people have been unfairly dragged into it.”
• Grosbeek said there was a “significant” financial component to Oduka’s suspension.
• The duo confirmed reports that assistant coach Joe Mazzola will take over as interim coach.
• Grosbeek added that he asked Stevens about the possibility of returning to the bench, but “Joe is the best option to do that with a long shot,” Stevens said.
• Mazola was arrested on charges of charging domestic batteries in 2009 in Morgantown, West Virginia, where he allegedly grabbed a woman by the neck. Stephen said they checked the situation before hiring Mazzulla and that he takes full responsibility for the accident.
“[I feel] So powerfully that it probably shaped him into what he is today in a really good way. He’ll be the first to tell you he’s 100% responsible for it,” Stevens said.
• Because of the smaller and less experienced coaching staff now, Stevens said, it is possible to add a veteran coach to the crew, but there hasn’t been a conversation like this yet.
• Both Stevens and Grousbeck said that no decision has been made on what will happen after this season – with Udoka and the coaching center -. The Celtics will take their time with this one.
• This quote from Grousbeck summed up the general theme of the press conference: “We think our culture is very powerful. We are very proud of it. But that shook it. I don’t think there is a bigger problem than we spent several months uncovering.”