BOSTON (AP)The Boston Celtics suspended Ime Udoka for a full year, banning the coach who led them to the NBA Finals last spring for the entire 2022-23 season over what two people with knowledge of the matter said was an improper relationship with a member of the organization.
The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team did not reveal that detail publicly. In a statement issued after a full day of wrangling over the terms of the punishment, the Celtics said Udoka violated team policies and left open the possibility that a longer separation could follow.
Assistant coach Joe Mazzulla will take over as interim coach, one of the people who spoke with The AP said. The defending Eastern Conference champions are scheduled to hold media day on Monday and open training camp Tuesday in preparation for the Oct. 18 season opener.
In a statement published by ESPN, Udoka apologized ”to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down.”
– By Jimmy Golen and Tim Reynolds
The Utah Jazz continued to revamp their roster, agreeing to send forward Bojan Bogdanovic to the Detroit Pistons for forward Kelly Olynyk and guard Saben Lee, according to a person with knowledge of the trade.
The person confirmed the trade to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because not all details – such as physicals and league approval – had been completed, which prevented the deal from being announced by either team.
Detroit will become the fifth NBA club for Bogdanovic. He averaged 18.1 points for the Jazz last season in 69 games, all of them starts, and has averaged 15 points in eight seasons with Brooklyn, Indiana, Washington and Utah.
Olynyk is also joining his fifth team, after stints with Boston, Miami, Houston and the Pistons. He played in 40 games for Detroit last season, averaging 9.1 points.
Lee averaged 5.6 points in each of his first two NBA seasons, both with the Pistons. He appeared in 85 games for Detroit, all but seven of them off the bench.
– By Tim Reynolds
Kawhi Leonard has been cleared for 5-on-5 basketball again, more than a year since his last NBA game.
Los Angeles Clippers President Lawrence Frank said the team will proceed with some caution with Leonard, the two-time NBA Finals MVP and five-time All-Star who tore the ACL in his right knee during the playoffs in June 2021.
Leonard missed the remainder of that postseason, and the entirety of this past season.
NEW YORK (AP) – Aaron Judge fell a few feet short of a record-tying 61st home run, hitting a 404-foot drive caught just in front of the center field wall, and the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 5-4 on Josh Donaldson’s 10th-inning single to clinch their sixth straight playoff berth.
Judge had walked three times and struck out once before he came to bat with the score tied 4-all in the ninth. He drove a fastball from Matt Barnes just to the right of straightaway center, but the ball was caught by Kike Hernandez a step in front of the fence. That left Judge still one home run shy of the American League record set by Yankees slugger Roger Maris in 1961.
New York has a 7 1/2-game lead in the AL East over Toronto and is headed to the playoffs for the 24th time in 28 years.
SAN DIEGO (AP) – Brendan Donovan hit a grand slam in the seventh inning to lead Albert Pujols and the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-4 victory against the San Diego Padres, snapping a three-game losing streak.
Pujols remained at 698 career homers, although he did drive two balls to deep left field, one for a single and one for an out on the warning track. The next stop in his pursuit of 700 home runs is Dodger Stadium, where the Cardinals open a three-game series on Friday.
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Veteran catcher Stephen Vogt of the Oakland Athletics will retire after 10 major league seasons.
The 37-year-old journeyman, a two-time All-Star, has also played for Tampa Bay, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Arizona and Atlanta. He joined the A’s for a second stint this year and will be honored at Oakland’s final game of the season Oct. 5 at home against the Angels.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – The idea was for two of the most reliable American teams to set the tone in the Presidents Cup, and the result was predictable.
Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay made short work of Adam Scott and Hideki Matsuyama in the opening match. They didn’t make a bogey in a 6-and-5 victory, improving their record to 5-0 in foursomes at the Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup.
Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas, best friends since they were 14, had clutch shots to atone for their mistakes and held off Sungjae Im and Corey Conners, 2 and 1.
Another strong American team from top to bottom played at a high level on a hot day at Quail Hollow and walked off with a 4-1 lead after the first session.
SAINT-QUENTIN-EN-YVELINES, France (AP) – Rasmus Hojgaard holed a 72-foot birdie putt on the way to shooting a 9-under 62 at the French Open, giving him a two-stroke lead at the European tour event.
The 21-year-old Danish player’s big putt came at the par-4 4th hole and was one of his 10 birdies at Le Golf National outside Paris. He also made birdie from 21 feet at No. 18.
Hojgaard equaled the course record at the venue used for the 2018 Ryder Cup.
Alexander Bjork of Sweden trailed by two shots after firing a bogey-free 64.
SAN DIEGO (AP) – Top-seeded Daniel Evans of Great Britain beat 95th-ranked Taro Daniel of Japan 6-4, 6-4 in his opening match at the San Diego Open ATP 250.
The 32-year-old Evans reached his fourth tour-level quarterfinal of the year. The world No. 25, who was coming off an indoor Davis Cup outing in Glasgow, Scotland, is now headed for a first-time meeting with Frenchman Constant Lestienne.
San Diegan Brandon Nakashima, 21, continued to make the most of his home-court advantage by beating Denis Kudla 6-3, 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals. He had a Round of 16 breakthrough at Wimbledon and a third-round showing at the U.S. Open.
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) – Texas Tech linebacker Bryce Ramirez was back in Texas five days after breaking his left leg in a gruesome injury sustained during a game at North Carolina State.
Ramirez returned to Lubbock, greeted at the airport by coach Joey McGuire and others as he was wheeled into the terminal two days before the Red Raiders face rival Texas in their Big 12 opener at home.
The fourth-year junior’s week in Raleigh, North Carolina, included a hospital visit from N.C. State coach Dave Doeren and members of his staff. Ramirez received a big get-well card. He tweeted a photo while thanking Doeren and his program.