Mazzulla: Celtics 'can't rush trust' in wake of Udoka suspension

Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka shouts from the bench in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Sunday, March 27, 2022, in Boston. The Celtics won 134-112. (Steven Senne/AP)

CANTON, Mass. (AP) — Boston Celtics interim coach Joe Mazzulla said he will take his time giving people time to "feel and heal'' after predecessor Ime Udoka was suspended for the season for an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the organization.

"You can't rush trust. You can't rush healing. You can't rush any of that,'' he said to a packed room at Celtics media day on Monday, three days after he was elevated to interim head coach. "Regardless of what has happened, we have a great roster and we have a great opportunity. That's what I have to focus on.''

Udoka was suspended Thursday for what two people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press was an inappropriate relationship with a woman in the organization. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because the details of his behaviour were not publicly released.

Mazzulla, 34, had been a Celtics assistant for two seasons. His only head coaching experience was at Division II Fairmont State.

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