Celtics

Bradley impressed by fans' reaction to Antoine Walker

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Bradley impressed by fans' reaction to Antoine Walker

BOSTON -- Avery Bradley watched as fans upon fans expressed their admiration for the former veteran NBA player.

In spite of what has happened since he left the league, they remembered the highlights of the years he spent on the Boston Celtics -- the playoff runs, the big games, and of course, the shimmies.

On Tuesday night Bradley was joined by Antoine Walker for an adidas Retro Real Deal autograph signing at Concepts in Cambridge. Bradley was taken aback by the overwhelmingly positive response Walker received from his fans.

"It was crazy to see how (they) reacted to him, the stories people were telling him, how nice he was," the Celtics guard told CSNNE.com prior to their game against the Bulls. "One kid was like, 'You've been my favorite player since I was eight. I met you and you were so nice to me.' I know it was weird for him to see them come back to see him, for them to say how nice he was then, because everybody else could have just walked past him but they stopped . . . People still had his jerseys."

Bradley, 22, grew up watching Walker, now 36, and was in high school when Walker played his last NBA game. Years later, Bradley now sits in the same locker room the former forward occupied for eight seasons, a commonality he calls, "crazy."

"Of course (I followed his career,)" said Bradley. "He was a great player. He still is a great player. From all the stories I've heard from everybody, they say he's a great guy. Even from last night, I got to see it's true."

Since leaving the league, Walker's storyline has focused around his battles with bankruptcy and legal issues. Not on Tuesday, though. That night was about Walker reconnecting with the those who still appreciate what he brought to the court.

"It shows what kind of fans we (the Celtics) have, first of all," said Bradley. "And it shows what kind of person he was."

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions on the Celtics getting their first win of the season and a comparison between Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving in the 4th quarter.

7:17 - Phil Perry joins BST to break down the tale of the tape between the Falcons and the Patriots as he breaks down the quarterbacks, offense, defense, coaching, and intangibles between the two teams.

11:57 - Our crew on BST discuss number 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz and number 3 overall pick Jayson Tatum going up against each other and debate who seems like the better pick so far. 

16:35 - In this segment of Irrelevant Questions, Tom Curran interviews Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett as he asks him a bunch of random questions. 

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Larkin rises to occasion, says he's ready when Celtics call his number

Larkin rises to occasion, says he's ready when Celtics call his number

PHILADELPHIA – Near the end of a preseason game against Charlotte, Boston Celtics guard Shane Larkin was killin’ the Hornets with pick-and-roll action.

It was a preseason game that at the time, didn’t seem to have much value other than to get some of the end-of-the-bench guys a little run up and down the court.

But as it turned out, Larkin's play in that game was one of those things head coach Brad Stevens tucked away, knowing at some point he would count on Larkin to provide similar play in a regular season game.

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Well, that game was Friday night at Philadelphia, a game in which several players for Boston stepped their games up in helping the Celtics get their first win of the season, 102-92.

But you would be hard-pressed to find a bigger game-changer for the Celtics in this game, than Larkin.

He finished with 10 points off the bench, eight of which came in the decisive fourth quarter when the Celtics rallied from five-down to get a hard-fought, much-needed victory.

“You have to always be ready for your name to be called, especially when you have injuries,” Larkin said. “You never know whose night it’s gonna be.”

Boston was playing without Marcus Smart who suffered a left ankle sprain in their 108-100 loss to Milwaukee on Wednesday. Smart was in the starting lineup having replaced Gordon Hayward who underwent left ankle surgery and is expected to be out for the remainder of this season.

“When coach (Stevens) called my name, I had to go out there and be aggressive, play my game,” Larkin said. “And it worked in our favor.”

And while Stevens had watched Larkin play prior to the Celtics signing him this summer, it was a preseason game against Charlotte that really convinced him that the 5-foot-11 guard could help when called upon.

“You’re always watching,” Stevens said. “And if you remember that exhibition game, he finished out that Charlotte game, just running simple spread pick-and-rolls. He’s such a handful with his speed and quickness, and he allows other guys to play off of him. He’s a small guy, but he makes up for it with his speed and skill.”

Al Horford benefited more than any other Celtic with Larkin’s pick-and-roll play which factored into Horford scoring nine of his 17 points in the fourth.

“Shane is a player who understands the game and for us, it was me trying to set a good screen for him and having him make a play,” Horford said. “He just made the right reads, when to shoot it, when to pass it. He just looked very comfortable in that position.”

And to think that Larkin’s big game came about in part because of how well he performed in a preseason matchup against the Hornets.

“I did not know it was that specific game,” Larkin said. “But whenever I step on the court I try to do my best. That’s offensively, defensively, and do what the team needs me to do.

Larkin added, “Whenever my number is called, if he (Stevens) calls it again, I hope he does. I’ll be ready to go out there and do it again.”

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