Nia Long says Celtics haven’t reached out to family amid Ime Udoka scandal

Nia Long recently opened up about the scandal surrounding her longtime partner Ime Udoka, who was suspended as Boston Celtics head coach in September.

The actress said she was “disappointed” with the lack of support from the Celtics organization in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published on Thursday.

“If you’re in the business of protecting women – I’m sorry, nobody from the Celtics organization has called me to see if I’m okay, if my kids are okay. It’s very disappointing,” she said.

Long had explained that the team’s decision to hold a press conference about Udoka’s suspension took a toll on her 11-year-old son, Kez. According to the publication, she took Kez out of school after news of Udoka’s scandal broke. Long also has a 22-year-old son, Maasai, from a previous relationship.

“I think the most heartbreaking part of all of this was seeing my son’s face as the Boston Celtics organization decided to go public with a very private situation,” she said. “It was devastating and still is. He still has moments when it’s not easy for him.”

The Boston Celtics did not immediately respond to a call for comment.

Nia Long and Ime Udoka at the BET 2017 American Black Film Festival Honors Awards on February 17, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California.

Paul Archuleta via Getty Images

Udoka was banned for a year for violating team policy. Several publications at the time, citing unnamed sources, reported that he was facing a fine for engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a member of the organization.

The news surrounding the suspension sent social media ablaze, with many Twitter users speculating as to which Celtics employee might be implicated in the scandal.

While the press conference Brad Stevens, the team’s general manager, spoke about Udoka’s suspension in September and delivered an emotional speech offering his support to the women in the Celtics organization.

“We have a lot of talented women in our organization and I thought yesterday was really tough for them,” he said. “Nobody can control Twitter speculation and rampant bullshit, but I think we have a responsibility as an organization to make sure we’re there to support them now. A lot of people have been unfairly implicated.”

Long – who is reprising her role as Jordan in the anticipated Peacock series based on The Best Man film series called The Best Man: The Final Chapters – received a surge of online support from her devoted fans after the News of Udoka’s scandal became known.

The actor told THR that she was comforted by the support in the situation, which made her feel like “my heart jumped out of my body.”

“And then I found this tribe of women and men who stood up for me in a way that felt like I was in this bubble of protection, and that was very comforting,” she said.

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