Celtics

From Hayward’s blog post, it sounds like he’s still got a long way to go

From Hayward’s blog post, it sounds like he’s still got a long way to go

Gordon Hayward offered no hint that he’d be able to return to playing for the Celtics this season in his latest blog post.

Hayward provided an update on his rehab, how he sees his team coming together as they stay on top in the East and a glimpse at his family life in his first post on gordonhayward20.life in a few weeks. 

There has been speculation that Hayward might be able to return late in the season as he’s begun shooting - including last week in Los Angeles before games - since severely injuring his ankle five minutes into his first Celtics season. While he admits he’s making progress, Hayward says of his rehab: 

"It’s pretty monotonous, and it’s not fun. I’m just trying to get through it."

He describes his on-court workouts as pretty limited: 

"On a basketball court, I’m still limited to doing things where I’m basically standing still and then taking maybe one step. Everything is flat-footed. So I can do a dribble pull-up, and though I don’t jump in the air, I still do the dribble and the step. On finishes around the rim, I can do a step and finish, but staying on the ground."

As for the East-leading Celtics (35-15), Hayward has plenty of praise for his teammates and his former coach at Butler, Brad Stevens: 

"It’s a testament to the players, their mental makeup and how our guys are wired. We’re natural competitors. We have a lot of guys that do the little things, that scrap and fight. Part of it is definitely Coach Stevens and the way he’s able to not panic, and instead, encourage our guys and put them in the right positions to be successful."

 

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The Kyrie brand continues to expand

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USA TODAY Sports Photo

The Kyrie brand continues to expand

LOS ANGELES – With Tinseltown as the backdrop, Kyrie Irving’s acting debut in the film, "Uncle Drew the Movie," will officially hit movie theaters this summer.

A five-time All-star and NBA champion, Irving is one of the few NBA players with a signature shoe deal.

And that deal, along with him venturing into the film game, speaks to the ever-expansion of the Irving brand. During Saturday’s media scrum, a time when the sports journalism world chimes in with a wide array of questions for the best players on the planet, some of the first ones asked were in regards to his upcoming movie.

They came from former Celtic Nate Robinson, who is in the movie as well.

That said, it still doesn’t diminish the fact that Irving is setting himself up to be more than just a talented basketball player.

“It comes with a lot of sacrifice, privacy,” Irving said before adding, “but you get a chance to put your creative influence and inspiration on things that have helped you develop as a person. You get to share that with the world. That’s pretty awesome. And you get to share it through art, through my game, through different avenues of sponsorship and you’re able to get that message through to people. That’s pretty awesome. I try to take full advantage of that.”

Part of Irving’s all-star weekend was spending time with the press to speak specifically about his upcoming movie.

Irving also made public appearances for corporate partners such as Mountain Dew.

There was a time not that long ago when the idea of an athlete having interests outside of basketball were frowned upon.

But Irving has been moving to a different beat for as long as he has been playing the game of basketball.

And that isn’t going to change anytime soon.

“Sometimes because of the way we’re put on this platform, people have opinions on the way that we should be, how we should act, things that we should be involved with,” Irving said. “The important thing that get’s glazed over is that we’re human beings. So, it’s pretty tough finding that balance.

Irving added, "For me, it’s just about respect all people. That’s something I always try to hammer home, something I was taught as a kid. It’s crazy. You get slack for saying stuff about certain things and feeling strongly, and if you don’t say enough you get the bad end of that as well. If you feel confident and you’re knowledgeable on a lot of things and you feel strongly about it, you should go for it. Everyone has a voice and they should be respected.”

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Ray Allen among Hall of Fame finalists

Ray Allen among Hall of Fame finalists

Ray Allen, part of the Celtics' Big Three that won Boston's last championship in 2008, is one of the finalists for the Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2018 announced Saturday at NBA All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles.

Allen, the all-time leader in three-pointers with 2,973, who, with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, helped the Celtics hang their 17th championship banner, joins Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Grant Hills and WNBA stars Tina Thompson and Katie Smith as first-time nominees. Also among the finalists are Maurice Cheeks, Chris Webber, coach Charles “Lefty” Driesell, coach Kim Mulkey, coach Rudy Tomjanovich, referee Hugh Evans, and the Wayland Baptist University women’s team.

The inductees to be enshrined in the Hall in September in Springfield, Mass., will be revealed April 1 at the NCAA men's Final Four in San Antonio. 

Finalists for induction need to be retired for at least three seasons. They'll now be voted on by a 24-member panel that includes current Hall of Famers, basketball executives and media members. Those receiving at least 18 of 24 votes will be inducted.

More on the Hall finalists here from NBCSports.com's Pro Basketball Talk 

Allen was part of a recent Celtics Talk podcast where he talked about his Celtics career and the controversy after he left to join the Miami Heat in 2012. Click here or listen below.

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