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Updated Friday, September 23, 2022 at 5:00 a.m. ET

The Boston Celtics have suspended coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season, the team announced Thursday night. The team cited violations of team policies in its announcement. Sources previously told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that Udoka had an intimate relationship with a female member of the franchise's staff. The suspension is effective immediately, and a decision about Udoka's future with the organization will be made later, the team said. -

The Celtics have made assistant coach Joe Mazzulla the interim head coach, sources told Wojnarowski. Udoka's top assistant coach, Will Hardy, left the team in June to become coach of the Utah Jazz. -

Kawhi Leonard has been cleared to participate fully in training camp next week but the LA Clippers will proceed with "step-by-step" caution. Lawrence Frank, Clippers president of basketball operations, said Leonard's first 5-on-5 participation will take place in camp, which starts next Tuesday in Las Vegas. "He feels great," Frank said at the team's practice facility. "His plan is, look, he wants to participate in everything. And I think organizationally, we're going to be cautious. So it will be a step-by-step approach." -

Ben Simmons said in an interview published Thursday that he just wanted help during his time with the Philadelphia 76ers, and that many within the organization didn't support him as he struggled with his mental health. "I was in such a bad place where I was like, f---, I'm trying to get here and you guys are, like, throwing all these other things at me to where you're not helping. And that's all I wanted, was help," Simmons told former Sixers teammate JJ Redick on "The Old Man and the Three" podcast. "I didn't feel like I got it from coaches, teammates -- I won't say all teammates, because there's great guys on that team that did reach out and are still my friends -- but I didn't feel like I got that, and it was just a tough place for me." -

The Utah Jazz are finalizing a trade to send veteran forward Bojan Bogdanovic to the Detroit Pistons for Kelly Olynyk and Saben Lee, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Bogdanovic becomes the third high-profile player traded away this offseason by the Jazz, who also parted with All-Stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell in separate blockbusters signaling the franchise's rebuild. -


The Boston Celtics have painted Bill Russell's No. 6 in the free throw lanes of their parquet floor as part of a season-long tribute planned for the Hall of Famer, who died this summer. "The team has added the number 6 to both lanes to pay homage to Bill Russell's dominant play in the paint," the Celtics said on Monday. - AP via

The NBA Replay Center has a new leader. Kane Fitzgerald, who spent 13 years working as an NBA referee, has been announced as the league's new vice president of referee operations and replay center principal. He's replacing another former referee in Jason Phillips, who left the job after three years. Fitzgerald, 41, officially started his new job Sunday at the opening of the league's annual preseason referee meetings. - AP via

For Spain, almost all of the names on the national team's roster have changed in recent years. The expectations didn't. And neither did the results. Juancho Hernangomez scored 27 points, his brother Willy Hernangomez added 14 and won tournament MVP honors, and Spain topped France 88-76 on Sunday to win the EuroBasket gold medal. It was Spain's fourth European championship in its past six tries, all those golds coming under coach Sergio Scariolo. - AP via

With a championship on the line for a team with some of the W.N.B.A.ís biggest stars, the Las Vegas Aces leaned on Riquna Williams, who had scored in double digits just twice this postseason. Williams raised her index finger to her lips to silence the Connecticut Sunís white-knuckled fans in Game 4 of the finals as she hit one big shot after another in the fourth quarter. The last of her 17 points came on a step-back shot just inside the 3-point line over the outstretched arms of Natisha Hiedeman. Guard Kelsey Plum raised her hands, and Williams ran around the court with her arms spread wide as Sun fans began to leave. The Aces defeated the Sun, 78-71, on Sunday to win their first W.N.B.A. championship, their postseason reflecting the regular-season dominance that led them to tie Chicago for the best record in the league. - NY Times

Free agent guard P.J. Dozier is signing with the Minnesota Timberwolves, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Dozier is returning from a torn ACL in his left knee, suffered in November while a member of the Denver Nuggets. He played for the Nuggets under new Wolves president Tim Connelly. -

France sent a message on its way to grabbing a spot in the EuroBasket championship game and a showdown with Spain. Guerschon Yabusele scored 22 points, and France rolled past Poland 95-54 in the semifinals of the European championships on Friday. "We just played our basketball," Yabusele said. "We were really good on defense and we were really aggressive. We made everything hard for them." The 41-point margin was the largest ever in a EuroBasket medal-round game played under the current tournament format, one more than 40-point wins posted by Croatia over Greece in the 1993 bronze-medal game and by the Soviet Union over Poland in the 1967 semifinals. - AP via

Free agent guard Dennis Schroder is finalizing a one-year, $2.64 million deal to return to the Los Angeles Lakers, his agent, Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports, told ESPN on Friday. Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka and new coach Darvin Ham reached out to Russell Westbrook in recent days to tell him that they planned to sign a veteran guard to the team's 14th roster spot, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. -

NBPA executive director Tamika Tremaglio, saying she was speaking on behalf of NBA players, on Friday called for a lifetime ban of Phoenix Suns majority owner Robert Sarver, who was given a one-year suspension by the league for racist and misogynist remarks. "We are absolutely calling for that [lifetime ban]," Tremaglio said in an interview on ESPN's NBA Today. "We do not want him to be in a position where he is managing or engaging with individuals who are engaging with our players or the players themselves. We are absolutely clear from the findings that are in the report that we do not want him to be in that position." -

Phoenix Suns vice chairman and minority owner Jahm Najafi, the team's second-largest stakeholder, called for majority owner Robert Sarver's resignation in an open letter to team employees released on Thursday night, saying there should be "zero tolerance'' for lewd, misogynistic and racist conduct in any workplace. Sarver was banned from the NBA for one year and fined $10 million after the NBA on Tuesday released its findings from a 10-month independent investigation into allegations of workplace abuse during Sarver's tenure as managing partner of the Suns that has spanned nearly two decades. -

The NBA and the National Basketball Referees Association have entered into a new collective bargaining agreement. The seven-year agreement, which was announced Thursday, starts with the 2022-23 season and stretches through 2028-29, according to a news release. The previous agreement expired at the end of the 2021-22 campaign. -


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