Celtics Players Learned of Ime Udoka's Suspension on Twitter, Say 'It's Been Hell for Us'

Head coach Ime Udoka of the Boston Celtics looks on during the second quarter against the Golden State Warriors in Game One of the 2022 NBA Finals at Chase Center on June 02, 2022 in San Francisco, California.
Head coach Ime Udoka of the Boston Celtics looks on during the second quarter against the Golden State Warriors in Game One of the 2022 NBA Finals at Chase Center on June 02, 2022 in San Francisco, California.

Ezra Shaw/Getty Ime Udoka

Boston Celtics players Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, and Jaylen Brown addressed the ongoing "hell" their team is dealing with following the suspension of head coach Ime Udoka.

Less than a week after the Celtics suspended Udoka following allegations he violated team policy, players spoke to reporters about the situation during the league's annual media day.

Jayson Tatum, the 24-year-old Celtics star, told Jared Weiss of The Athletic that he and teammates learned of Udoka's suspension "on Twitter, like everybody else."

Tatum also said, "It's just an unfortunate situation, all things considered. Nobody expected this coming into the season. We were all caught off guard by everything," per USA Today.

BOSTON, MA - March 23: Grant Williams #12 of the Boston Celtics talks with head coach Ime Udoka after beating the Utah Jazz 125-97 at the TD Garden on March 23, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - March 23: Grant Williams #12 of the Boston Celtics talks with head coach Ime Udoka after beating the Utah Jazz 125-97 at the TD Garden on March 23, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images)

Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald/Getty Ime Udoka

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"It's been hell for us," added point guard Marcus Smart. The 28-year-old reigning Defensive Player of the Year told reporter Jared Weiss that the timing of Udoka's suspension was especially difficult for the team to navigate. "It happened in a time that we didn't have any time to understand everything before media day...we just found out like you guys did, so we're doing our best to cope."

Udoka, 45, allegedly had a consensual intimate relationship with a woman on the team's staff, sources previously confirmed to PEOPLE. Smart said that despite the reports, "Nobody died, so we didn't lose anything," he said.

"I still love Ime as a person and as a coach. It's just something unfortunate that has happened to him. It doesn't take away anything from him as a coach, from how he turned this team around."

RELATED VIDEO: Nia Long Speaks Out amid Fiancé Ime Udoka's Alleged Affair, Suspension from Celtics

Udoka has only coached one season in Boston, making his suspension an even greater challenge for the team to overcome this season. Jaylen Brown told Weiss that not having Udoka, "definitely puts" the team's "leadership to the test." Brown explained, "Not just mine, but all of ours. Obviously, things have not gone the way we expect it, but that's life. We just have to move on."

RELATED: Ime Udoka Reacts to Boston Celtics Suspension After Alleged Affair: 'I Accept the Team's Decision'

According to Weiss, both Tatum and Brown have not spoken to the head coach since his suspension. "No conversations as far as me on my end," said Brown. "Initial reactions, we were all shocked what was going on, a little confused, but a lot of the information wasn't being shared with us or members of the team, so you can't really comment on it."

The NBA team announced that they had suspended Udoka, who was named the Celtics' head coach in June 2021, in an official statement on Twitter Thursday.

RELATED: Nia Long and Ime Udoka's Relationship Timeline

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 17: Head Coach Ime Udoka looks on during the second half against the Golden State Warriors at TD Garden on December 17, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 17: Head Coach Ime Udoka looks on during the second half against the Golden State Warriors at TD Garden on December 17, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Getty Images)

Maddie Malhotra/Getty Ime Udoka

"The Boston Celtics announced today that the team has suspended Head Coach Ime Udoka for the 2022-23 season for violations of team policies," the statement reads. "A decision about his future with the Celtics beyond this season will be made at a later date. The suspension takes effect immediately."

An affair between the engaged head coach and the staffer is considered a violation of team guidelines, ESPN, who was first to report the news, said, and updates on the disciplinary action could arrive as soon as Thursday. Udoka has been with Fatal Affair actress Nia Long since they met in 2010. The two share a 10-year-old son, Kez Sunday, and confirmed their engagement in May 2015.