To no one’s surprise, a source says that Nia Long and her longtime partner, suspended Boston Celtics coach, Ime Udoka have parted ways.
“The situation is unfortunate and painful, but Nia is focusing on her children and rebuilding her life,” the source told People. Long’s rep also confirms that the couple has gone their separate ways saying they are no longer together but committed to “co-parenting.”
The former couple are parents to Kez Sunday, 11, and Long has previously said that the publicity surrounding Udoka’s suspension adversely affected him. She took Kez out of school when news of the suspension broke.
Long has another child, Massai Dorsey, 21, from a previous relationship.
Long and Udoka dated for over a decade. A former NBA player originally from Portland, Oregon, Udoka began his rise in the coaching ranks, first with the San Antonio Spurs, then the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets. He took the Boston Celtics to the NBA Finals in his first year as head coach, losing in six games to the Golden State Warriors.
Udoka became the center of a scandal when he was abruptly suspended before the 2022-’23 season for what has been described as a consensual workplace affair with a team staffer. But because his position puts him in a relative position of power over the woman, the Celtics suspended him for having the relationship.
When the suspension was revealed by the team, Long had reportedly just moved to Boston. But in a recent and since-deleted Instagram post, Long showed an image of an apartment in Los Angeles, captioning it with “Thankful for the gift of new spaces and places.”
Udoka apologized in a brief statement released via Malika Andrews of ESPN, but has neither been seen nor heard from publicly since.
“I want to apologize to our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization, and my family for letting them down,” the statement read. “I am sorry for putting the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team’s decision.”
Long has been on a promo run for the upcoming series The Best Man: The Last Chapters heading to Peacock on Dec. 22. She told The Hollywood Reporter that she was disappointed in the Boston Celtics for not reaching out to her.
“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 The Hollywood Reporter recently. “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. It’s very disappointing.”
Nia Long and Ime Udoka were engaged in 2015 but seemed to be taking the long-term view of getting married. Long told Essence in 2012, two years into their relationship, that she was in no rush.
“I don’t feel less loved or less loving because I’m not married,” she said. “I worked hard to have the career I wanted, but I’ve also been deliberate about my personal life. None of this is a mistake,” Long said.