Celtics

Tatum, Ojeleye and Theis describe 'Welcome to NBA' moment

Tatum, Ojeleye and Theis describe 'Welcome to NBA' moment

WALTHAM, Mass. – No matter how highly regarded a player is when they come into the NBA, there’s always a “Welcome to the NBA” moment.

Jayson Tatum has been praised by just about every player and coach on the Celtics’ payroll, which is a bit unusual for a rookie.

Often the flattery centers around the beyond-his-birth certificate wisdom he tends to play with.

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And then there’s Semi Ojeleye, a second-round pick who has the look of what the Celtics and most teams want to play more of which is position-less basketball.

He too had a few first-time experiences that served as a reminder that yes, this is the NBA not North Texas State or Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

We can't forget Daniel Theis, one of the big unknowns among Boston’s roster heading into this season. He is coming off a strong showing in EuroBasket 2017 for the German National team. He had a chance to play against some current and former NBA players which includes NBAers like Boris Diaw with France in addition to the Gasol Brothers (Marc and Pau) who played for Spain.

He too has picked up a few pointers in training camp that should help his transition to the NBA from overseas competition.

Here are the three rookies detailing their “Welcome to the NBA” moments from training camp.

 

JAYSON TATUM

Training camp began Tuesday and Tatum, eager to get going, recalls it being a pretty busy day.

“We had to be on the bus at 9:15 a.m., so I got up for breakfast around 8:15,” said Tatum. “Got on the bus, younger guys were on the court first. The older guys lifted. We went through defense, got some shots off and went through plays. After that, went back to the hotel and chilled, got a nap. It lasted about an hour.”

The second session was much more intense, Tatum said.

They did some four-on-four work, dummy defense work. . . situational stuff.

“You had to get stops, to win,” Tatum said.

During the drills, Tatum at one point found himself having to guard Al Horford who is a couple inches and about 20 pounds heavier.

“They didn’t give him the ball, but him just backing me down … he’s a grown man,” Tatum said.

Welcome to the NBA young fella!

 

SEMI OJELEYE

One of the first things that reminded Ojeleye that he was in a very, very different world (the NBA) compared to the world he knew (college), came during an early drill.

“It’s not like college when you get every rep,” Ojeleye said. “When you get in, you have to stay sharp.”

That has been at the forefront of Ojeleye’s thoughts throughout training camp.

And when asked if he had a particular “Welcome to the NBA” moment, Ojeleye grinned before saying, “yeah, a couple.”

When they play games that aren’t drill or situation-specific, often it involves players switching out defensively to guard someone other than the man playing their respective position.

Ojeleye knew before he became teammates with Kyrie Irving, that the four-time all-star was really fast and ultra-quick with the ball in his hands.

But to see it up-close and try to defend it … welcome to the NBA!

“He does what he does,” said Ojeleye, referring to Irving. “Him, Gordon (Hayward), all the guys; you know what kind of level it is. It’s great to be out here.”

 

DANIEL THIES

Having just played in EuroBasket 2017, Theis made his way to Boston the day after he and his German teammates lost to Spain.

Having already faced some current and former players overseas, Theis was feeling comfortable and confident that he would not have any major issues.

But as much as he could get a feel for the strengths of some of his new teammates, there was nothing he could do to combat or minimalize dealing with experienced veterans.

“He’s such a smart player,” Theis said, referring to Horford. “He just knows where to go, his patience when he has the ball, with the past. For his shot, it’s really nice.”

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Kyrie Irving fined $25,000 for his inappropriate language with a fan

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Kyrie Irving fined $25,000 for his inappropriate language with a fan

BOSTON – As expected, the NBA has fined Celtics guard Kyrie Irving $25,000 for using “inappropriate language” toward a fan at the Friday night game in Philadelphia.
 
The incident occurred at halftime as Irving and his teammates were heading to the locker room, trailing by four. Boston went on to win 102-92 for their first victory of the season.
 
A fan yelled, “Hey, where’s LeBron?” to which Irving replied with a lewd suggestion to the yeller.
 
The Celtics practiced on Saturday with Irving addressing the incident.

When asked if he had any regrets about the incident, Irving replied, “Hell no. 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 social media platform we live on.
 
Irving added, “I take full responsibility for what I said. You move on.”
 
When asked about the incident on Saturday, Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he had not seen the video but was aware of it.
 
“People make mistakes; hopefully learn from them and move on,” Stevens said. “There’s a right and wrong. And if you’re in the wrong you have to own up to it and that’s that.”

It was the second such fine levied by the league in as many days. 

New Orleans center DeMarcus Cousins was fined $25,000 for "inappropriate language" toward a fan when the Pelicans lost 103-91 at Memphis on Wednesday. 
 

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.”