James Young is a man on the move for Celtics


James Young is a man on the move for Celtics

SAN ANTONIO – James Young has been a man on the move – literally – since being drafted by the Boston Celtics in 2014 and subsequently shuffled back and forth between Boston and their Development League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws.

But Friday’s assignment to the Red Claws and then recall to Boston – within minutes of each other – was different.

Young, who has been with the Celtics during their current road trip, said he was literally minutes from boarding a plane to join the Red Claws when he was told to return to the team’s hotel in San Antonio to be in uniform for tonight’s game.

“I guess the day before, they were talking about me going to Maine,” Young told CSNNE.com. “I was like mentally ready to go. The next morning (Friday), I got to the airport, I got to the gate and everything, I got a phone call saying I was going to stay here. I was like, ‘alright.’ I had to tell people, I need my bags back. So they took it to baggage claim and I went down.”

It was yet another reminder for the 20-year-old of how quickly life as a professional basketball player can change.

“You never know what’s going to happen,” Young said. “I’m just glad to be back.”

Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said the decision to even consider sending Young to the Red Claws had to do with a quad injury suffered by Avery Bradley that doesn’t appear to be serious.

In fact, Bradley knocked down the first two shots in Saturday’s game against the Spurs.

“We were probably a little bit conservative with that decision, but I think it’s the right move to have him here,” Stevens said.

And as far as Young getting the word to come back to the team from the airport, Stevens acknowledged that it “was not a perfect timing thing.”

Said Stevens: “But at least we made the decision before he got on the plane. He never left Texas.”

Smart's stylish opening night outfit honors late mom

Smart's stylish opening night outfit honors late mom

By now, you've probably seen the outfit Celtics star Marcus Smart arrived at TD Garden in last night in, as Boston got ready to take on the Philadelphia 76ers for their 2018-19 season-opener:

And as it turns out, there's a very pointed reason for his choice of clothing last night. As The Athletic's Jay King writes, the get-up was a tribute to his late mother Camellia, who passed away on that very day a month prior from cancer. She always treated him like royalty -- and as such, kings recognize kings.

"It’s a special day,” Smart told King. “It’s the one-month anniversary of my mom’s passing. She always called me her little king so I had to dress like one.”

Smart has been open about his mother's death, and what an instrumental force she's been in his life. Last month, after she passed, he left this emotional, tear-inducing statement on Twitter:

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Morris embraces role of night-in, night-out uncertainty

Morris embraces role of night-in, night-out uncertainty

BOSTON – Marcus Morris has never lacked for confidence when it comes to his ability to play in the NBA, feeling as though he is a starter in this league even if his minutes played suggests otherwise.

As badly as he wants to play major minutes, being part of a major player like the Boston Celtics this season is even more valuable.

“The only thing I can do is go out there and be effective with the minutes I’m given and that’s my whole motto during the season,” Morris said.

It is a motto we saw at work in Boston’s 105-87 season-opening win over Philadelphia on Tuesday.

And it is that approach to the game that has made Morris one of head coach Brad Stevens’ favorites.

Morris came off the bench against the Sixers to tally a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds to go with two steals, doing it all in just over 20 minutes of playing time.

“Everybody has to do their role exceptionally well,” Stevens said. “But we’re asking more of Marcus Morris than we are a lot of guys. Because he’s a guy that could be playing 32, 34 minutes a night, starting, and playing a lot for … for a lot of places. But for us, we need him to come in and do exactly what he did (Tuesday).”

Morris understands playing time for him as well as his teammates, will fluctuate all season.

“I’m a veteran,” he said. “I’ve been around. This is my eighth year so I see that we have a special team.”

And for someone as competitive as Morris is, that makes the idea of having his minutes remain in a constant stat of uncertainty a much easier pill to swallow than it would be for another team that wasn’t as close to winning a title as the Celtics are.

“It can come down to 20 minutes, 15 minutes so just try to change the game some type of way with the time I’m given,” Morris said.

And it is that open-minded approach to playing that Stevens believes speaks to who Morris is as a person and as one of the leaders on the team.

“He doesn’t get enough credit for what he does for this team from a leadership standpoint,” Stevens told NBC Sports Boston.

Following Tuesday’s win, Stevens had more to say about Morris and the way he has handled his role with the team.

“There’ll be games when he plays more (than he did in the opener),” Stevens said. “But I couldn’t appreciate a guy more than I appreciate him. Because he’s the one that has really … you know, right from the get-go, he’s played completely unaffected by his role. He’s just going to play really well when he goes in the game.”

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