Earlier this offseason, the Boston Celtics suspended head coach Ime Udoka for the entire 2022-23 season.
Udoka allegedly has a workplace affair with a women who works for the Celtics. Details of the alleged affair weren't made public, but the Celtics were clearly disturbed enough to suspend him.
However, he wasn't fired. ESPN's Stephen A. Smith thinks that's because the Celtics didn't want to lose Udoka to the Brooklyn Nets.
“I believe part of the reason he was suspended, not fired, is because the Boston Celtics did not want him to end up in Brooklyn,” Smith said.
Here's more of what he said, via the New York Post:
“I believe that Ime Udoka, had he gotten fired, with all the stuff that happened — remember, the operative words were ‘consensual relationship, violation of organization policy!’ So because it’s that, it’s about your behavior, which we don’t endorse, as opposed to a crime.
And because there was nothing that was put out there that said it was a crime, I believe that if Ime Udoka had been fired by the Boston Celtics, the Brooklyn Nets would’ve fired Steve Nash and brought that brother back and he would be the coach for the Brooklyn Nets right now. That’s how emphatic I am about this.”
Stephen A. is plugged into the NBA more than any other sport, but admitted this is just his opinion.
Would the Nets have fired Steve Nash for the chance to hire Udoka? We'll probably never know.