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Nia Long calls out Celtics for handling of Ime Udoka situation: ‘It was devastating’

Nia Long spoke at the EBONY Power 100 event in Los Angeles in October.Leon Bennett/Getty Images for EBONY MEDIA GROUP

Actress Nia Long did not appreciate the way the Boston Celtics handled the suspension of her longtime partner – coach Ime Udoka.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Long criticized the Celtics for deciding “to make a very private situation public,” telling the magazine that she had to take her and Udoka’s son, Kez, 11, out of school following Udoka’s one-year suspension for violating team policies.

League sources told the Globe that Udoka’s suspension stemmed from an improper relationship with a subordinate team employee.

“I think the most heartbreaking thing about all of this was seeing my son’s face when the Boston Celtics organization decided to make a very private situation public,” Long told THR. “It was devastating, and it still is. He still has moments where it’s not easy for him.”


“If you’re in the business of protecting women — I’m sorry, no one from the Celtics organization has even called to see if I’m OK, to see if my children are OK,” the actress continued. “It’s very disappointing.”

Long would not comment about her relationship status with Udoka, whom she first began dating in 2010 and got engaged to in 2015. Long did reveal that she had recently moved back to Los Angeles from Boston with Kez and Massai, 22, her son from a previous relationship.

In a statement to Boston.com shortly after the news of Udoka’s suspension broke in September, Long made clear that she was focused on the well-being of her children.

“The outpouring [of] love and support from family, friends and the community during this difficult time means so much to me,” Long said. “I ask that my privacy be respected as I process the recent events. Above all, I am a mother and will continue to focus on my children.”