“The outpouring of love and support from family, friends and the community during this difficult time means so much to me,” said de Best man star, 51, said in a statement: Us Weekly on Friday September 23. “I ask that my privacy be respected as I process recent events. Above all, I am a mother and I will continue to focus on my children.”
Long’s comments come a day after Udoka, 45, was subsequently banned from the NBA for a year news broke that Boston Celtics head coach was reportedly having an affair with another member of the organization. “The Boston Celtics today announced that they have suspended Head Coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season for violation of team policy,” the team announced in an official press release on Thursday, September 22. USA today. “A decision about his future with the Celtics after this season will be made at a later date. The suspension is effective immediately.”
The Oregon resident, for his part, apologized to “our players, fans, the entire Celtics organization and my family” in a statement of his own. “I’m sorry I put the team in this difficult situation, and I accept the team’s decision,” Udoka continued. “Out of respect for everyone involved, I will not comment further.”
The former basketball player — who has been in a relationship with Long . since 2010 – Reportedly had an “intimate and consensual relationship with a female member” of the team staff, according to a report by the athletic. The alleged relationship was not only deemed “inappropriate” by the franchise, but also a violation of the NBA’s code of conduct.
Hours after the news broke on Thursday, Long shared a cryptic message on her Instagram story, alongside a video of a peaceful wildlife scene. “When you see people change their whole lives and start walking a path of enlightenment, I’m talking about hugging trees, connecting with nature, loving themselves, embracing positivity, letting that light shine,” her caption read.
Despite their long engagement, Fresh Prince Of Bel Air alum revealed in 2020 that she and Udoka had no intention of actually getting married. “I understand the religious aspect of marriage. That’s beautiful and it’s fantastic and it’s dreamy and it’s every girl’s fantasy to have that moment. But I don’t know if I need to,” she said during a performance on Essence’s “Yes, Girl!” podcast from then. “Love is complicated, let’s start with that.”
The New Yorker continued: “Then you start a marriage that I have never been married to. And there’s a reason for that, because I don’t know I have to say, “I do” to prove to you that I love you. … I don’t know if I need that to feel like I’m in a partnership that works.”