Jayson Tatum found out about Ime Udoka’s suspension via Twitter

"Apparently it's a lot of things you can't speak about."

Jayson Tatum
Jayson Tatum says he found out Ime Udoka would be suspended on Twitter, like everyone else. Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Jayson Tatum claims to be as blindsided about the shocking suspension of Celtics coach Ime Udoka as everyone else.

And like everyone else, Tatum says, he found out about the situation on Twitter — not through the team.

“It’s just an unfortunate situation,” Tatum said. “All things considered, nobody expected this coming into the season. We were all caught off-guard by everything. But we’ve got to try to move forward and play basketball.”

The Celtics all claimed to have very little information regarding Udoka’s situation, which is a source of frustration even though — as Tatum noted — there may be good reason to keep what happened quiet for the time being.


“Apparently it’s a lot of things you can’t speak about,” Tatum said. “So I think I’m kind of in the same boat. I don’t know. It’s hard for me to answer if things were handled the right way or if were they weren’t. Because, you know, for a lot of reasons I don’t know a lot of details. I just don’t know.”

Both Tatum and Jaylen Brown said they hadn’t talked to Udoka since the news broke. Brown said players had been told very little, leaving them confused and perhaps a little frustrated.

“There’s not a lot of information that’s being shared with me personally or anybody else for that matter,” Brown said, when asked if the lack of information made it difficult to support the team. “You can’t really make a comment on it without having all that information. I think that does make it difficult, to answer your question.”

Marcus Smart said Udoka visited him and a few other players in Los Angeles this summer, presumably around the time the Celtics’ organization found out about the situation in July. The players didn’t catch wind of anything odd at that time.

“It’s been hell for us,” Smart said. “Caught by surprise. Nobody really knows anything so we’re just in the wind like everybody else, so these last couple of days have been confusing.”


However, Smart added that he was “definitely” comfortable with how the organization handled the situation, even though the players found themselves in the dark headed into a storm of questions at Media Day.

“As a player, you’d like to know,” Smart said. “But that’s none of our business and it’s their lives, the people that are involved, it’s between them and we should respect that privacy and we understand, just like we want our privacy respected.

“As a player, yeah, you’d like to know, but like I said it’s not an obligation.”

Players met with the team on Thursday to get some answers but were so shocked, according to Smart, that they didn’t ask many questions because they “didn’t know what questions to ask.”

“I’ll say it again: I wish we had more details,” Brown said. “From what we know, it’s hard to make a decision based upon whether it’s consensual or not in the workplace or whatever’s going on — which we’ve known that’s happened before in the workplace — but I guess there’s more to it than possibly which I don’t know.


“I don’t have all the details. It’s not being shared with me, so it’s hard to really comment on something that you’re not filled with all the details. I don’t have a feeling or a comment on my emotions about it because I don’t have the details.”

Still, Brown, Tatum and Smart — along with several other players — expressed familiarity with and support for interim coach Joe Mazzulla, who joined the Celtics as an assistant in 2019.

“[He’s] somebody we’re comfortable with,” Tatum said. “He’s been here the last three or four years, so same person, just in a different position now. So somebody that we’re familiar with and have a lot of respect for.”


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