Celtics 2022: Big Moves and Big Controversies

Patrick Restuccia, Author

Coming off of an amazing 2021-2022 season, the Boston Celtics are trying to bounce back from losing the NBA finals to a ridiculously overwhelming Golden State Warriors team.  The Celtics looked very promising in the past season; not only their players, but their coaching staff too.  Star point guard Jayson Tatum averaged over 30 points when he played with his dynamic duo partner Jalen Brown last season.  This duo took the NBA by surprise when they made their shock playoff run and fell just short in the finals, losing 4 games to 2.  They were also assisted by well-liked rookie coach Ime Udoka.   Their season went very well, as they went for 51 wins and 31 losses placing 2nd in the eastern conference.

They needed some big moves in their off-season if they wanted another shot at making it to the finals.  In terms of trades, they made some noticeable moves by trading for 2010 number one draft pick and 6-time all-star Blake Griffin from the Brooklyn Nets. They also traded for power forward Danilo Gallinari.  These trades are expected to propel the Celtics toward becoming a better team while still factoring in their existing starters. 

However, their off-season was easily the most eventful in the NBA among all of the teams.  Every team had their fair share of controversy, but the Celtics were put in the spotlight of the NBA when their first year coach Ime Udoka was caught in a heap of scandals.  He was caught having an affair with a subordinate female who also worked for the Celtics.  The relationship spanned over 4 months after their texts were discovered, but the news was not released to the public until 2 months after the NBA finals. This shocked the NBA and prompted the Celtics to issue an immediate suspension.  This was especially sad due to the fact that both Ime and his female subordinate are married to other individuals. As IHS Senior Matt McGowan notes, “He was a good coach last year but his scandal dirtied his reputation.”  This scandal was obviously a shock to the sports world especially after Ime was welcomed so warmly into the Boston sports.  Former Celtics coach Brad Stephens stepped down from the head coach position to reward Ime generously with his position.  When asked if this controversy would affect the team, IHS Senior Ethan Lombara replied, “It’s going to be something that would drag down the players’ mental status because they had a positive relationship with the coach and now they lost him and will now likely have mixed feelings about him.”  

Not even more than 2 months passed before Ime was almost given a new head coaching job with the Brooklyn Nets after their head coach, Steve Nash, was fired.  Ime almost getting a new head coaching position came with some backlash after Boston sports fans thought he should have received a harsher punishment and should not have been rewarded with his same job in a different city.