Celtics

'Lockout League' rosters and schedule released

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'Lockout League' rosters and schedule released

By A. Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com Celtics Insider
Follow @sherrodbcsn

LAS VEGAS The gravitational pull of the NBA season has a way of tugging on players this time of the year to get back on the court.

But with so much uncertainty surrounding the league's owners and players union working out a new Collective Bargaining Agreement in time for training camp, many players are floating around like lost satellites in the cosmos.

However, that will change - for a couple weeks, at least - Monday with several NBA players kicking off the Impact Basketball Training Series in Las Vegas which will include daily games featuring current NBA players as well as recent draft picks.

The schedule for games as well as the rosters were released Monday morning.

Boston's Jermaine O'Neal will play with a team that includes former Celtics Chauncey Billups and Damon Jones.

The Celtics' other confirmed participant, Avery Bradley, is part of a group of up-and-comers that includes Toronto's DeMar DeRozan as well as a pair of Sacramento Kings, J.J. Hickson and rookie Isaiah Thomas who was the last player selected in June's NBA draft.

Throughout the summer, several players have participated in Pro-Am games as well as charity events across the country. But the Impact Basketball Series - also referred to some as the Lockout League - is unique.

The conditioning aspect is something not all that unusual for players. However, the gathering of so many NBA players for a series of games, this time of year, is not the norm.

"Never before in the off-season have so many great players come together to train and play," said Joe Abunassar, founder of Impact Basketball. "I am thrilled to be able to provide our world-class training environment and system to so many great players."

And it's all because of the lockout, which went into effect July 1.

While recent meetings have given some hope that a deal can be struck soon, the Lockout League is a sure-fire way of players getting their usual off-season conditioning in as well as a few competitive games against other high-level talent.

"This will be an amazing two weeks for all of us NBA players who have been working and training hard all summer to get together and have a chance to really get after it on the court against some of the best players in the league," said Billups.

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached at sblakely@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn.

Does Kyrie regret exchange with fan in Philly? 'Hell, no'

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Does Kyrie regret exchange with fan in Philly? 'Hell, no'

WALTHAM, Mass. – The NBA has talked with  Celtics guard Kyrie Irving about disparaging comments he made to a fan at halftime that have since gone viral.

Irving said the incident happened as the Celtics were heading back to the locker room at halftime after the Celtics fell behind 50-46 to the Sixers.

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“Kyrie, where’s LeBron?” yelled the fan.

Irving replied with a lewd suggestion. 

After practice on Saturday, Irving acknowledged that he did say something to a fan and that he had a conversation with the league regarding the incident.

Regrets?

“Hell no,” Irving said. “Man enough to record it on video, that’s on him. I’m glad he got his ad name out there, and his five seconds of fame and it’s gone viral. That’s the social media platform we live on.

Irving added, “I take full responsibility for what I said. You move on.”

The league has not officially announced a fine for Irving, but it’s more a matter of when not if that will be forthcoming.

In fact, earlier today, the league fined New Orleans Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins $25,000 for “inappropriate language” towards a fan in the Pelicans’ 103-91 loss at Memphis on Wednesday.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens had not seen the video in question but was aware that Irving had been in conversations with the league office regarding the incident.

“Guys know what the right thing to do is,” Stevens said. “People make mistakes; hopefully learn from them and move on. There’s a right and wrong. And if you’re in the wrong you have to own up to it and that’s that.”