Nia Long’s fiancé Ime Udoka, 45, is in jeopardy of temporarily losing his job as head coach of the Boston Celtics. Ime allegedly had an “improper intimate and consensual relationship” with a female staff member on the Celtics, according to The Athletic reporter Shams Charania. Ime’s alleged actions violate the NBA’s code of conduct and he’s now facing suspension for the entire 2022-2023 season, which begins Oct. 18. He’ll be replaced by assistant coach Joe Mazzulla, 34, if that happens.
So, who is Ime Udoka? Get to know the professional basketball coach and former player below!
Ime played pro basketball for ten years.
Ime was selected to join the Charleston Lowgators as part of the NBA’s minor league organization (NBDL) in 2002, as the 39th overall pick in the draft. He was called up to play with the Los Angeles Lakers in January 2004, but was waived shortly after. He played with the San Antonio Spurs, the Sacramento Kings, and then the Spurs again, from 2007 to 2011. His final year playing pro basketball was with the Spanish team UCAM Murcia CB.
Ime has been coaching in the NBA for a decade.
Ime joined the Spurs as an assistant coach in August 2012. He won his first championship at the 2014 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat. After leaving the Spurs in 2019, Ime scored jobs as assistant coach for the Philadelphia 76ers and then for the Brooklyn Nets. In 2021, he was hired as the head coach of the Boston Celtics. Ime, who is Nigerian, became the fifth Celtics head coach of African origin. Under his leadership, the Celtics made it to the 2022 NBA Finals but lost to the Golden State Warriors.
Ime started dating Nia in 2010.
Ime and Nia were set up on a date by a mutual friend in February 2010 in Boston. Nia is famous for movies like Boyz n the Hood, Big Momma’s House, and Are We There Yet? Ten years before she started dating Ime, she gave birth to her son Massai, now 21, from her previous relationship with ex Massai Z. Dorsey.
Ime is a father.
Ime and Nia have one child together, 10-year-old son Kez, who was born in November 2011. Kez started fifth grade this year which Nia documented on Instagram Sept. 7. “There he is…my yummy baby boy!” she wrote, alongside a photo of Kez ready for school.
Ime and Nia are engaged, but they have no plans to marry.
After five years of dating, Nia and Ime got engaged in May 2015. Nia’s rep confirmed the news after the actress was spotted out and about wearing her engagement ring. But Nia has made it clear that she’s not a big fan of marriage.
“Marriage is not a priority for me. I’m not saying I’ll never do it; It’s just not where we are as a family,” she told Essence in 2012, before her engagement to Ime.
Even after Ime popped the question, Nia has continued to express doubt about marrying the basketball coach. “I understand the religious aspect of marriage. That is beautiful and it’s fantastical and it’s dreamy and it’s every girl’s fantasy to have that moment. But I don’t know that I need that to feel like I’m in a partnership that’s working,” she said on the Yes Girl podcast in Dec. 2020.