Celtics

Stevens to miss Thursday's game vs. Bulls

brad-stevens-11-6-2015.jpg

Stevens to miss Thursday's game vs. Bulls

CHICAGO – The Boston Celtics continue along their short-handed ways, only this time it’s not a player.

Head coach Brad Stevens will miss tonight’s game after traveling back to Indiana to visit a former Butler player, Andrew Smith,  who has battled non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Several of Smith’s family members recently took to social media to discuss the severity of Smith’s declining health.

His wife Samantha posted the following on both Facebook and Twitter:

“Please pray. Pray so very hard. We need a miracle & Andrew asked me to have you all rally with us in prayer in this moment,” the message read.

Smith was a starting center on both of Butler University’s Final Four teams, coached by Stevens.

Assistant coach Jay Larranaga will assume head coaching duties tonight in Stevens’ absence.

NBA Rumors: Marcus Morris signs $15M contract with Knicks after firing agent

NBA Rumors: Marcus Morris signs $15M contract with Knicks after firing agent

It appears Marcus Morris has found a new home ... for real this time.

The former Boston Celtics forward has signed a one-year, $15 million contract with the New York Knicks in free agency, The Athletic's Shams Charania reported Tuesday.

Morris' deal puts an end to a bizarre saga that began when he reportedly agreed to a two-year, $20 million contract with the San Antonio Spurs on July 6, only to renege on that agreement late last week with the intention of signing with the Knicks.

It then was revealed Sunday that Morris had fired his agent, Klutch Sports' Rich Paul, who represents LeBron James, Anthony Davis and several other NBA stars. According to the New York Daily News' Stefan Bondy, Morris turned down a three-year, $41 million contract with the Los Angeles Clippers before pivoting to the Spurs, who offered him less money and fewer years on his deal.

It's unclear who replaced Paul as Morris' agent, but the 29-year-old managed to get paid by the Knicks after another solid statistical season (13.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and a career-high 44.7 shooting percentage) in Boston.

Morris joins the Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving and the Philadelphia 76ers' Al Horford as three ex-Celtics who will play the C's four times this season in the Atlantic Division.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Enes Kanter has support from Mass. Senator as critic of Turkish president

Enes Kanter has support from Mass. Senator as critic of Turkish president

Enes Kanter is a good basketball player, but he's also well-respected in the political realm for his advocacy off the court.

Kanter, a Turkish national and outspoken critic of Turkey's current president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, got a shout-out Monday night from Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, who was a fan of Kanter's while he was with the Portland Trail Blazers last season.

Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey then tweeted his own endorsement of Kanter, welcoming the new Celtics big man to Boston "with open arms."

Kanter clearly appreciated the love, thanking Markey in a tweet for "upholding American values and standing up for Democracy and Human Rights."

Kanter has repeatedly criticized the Turkish government as an NBA player -- he called Erdogan "the Hitler of our century" in 2017 -- and has paid the price for doing so. Turkey put out an extradition request for the 27-year-old in January claiming he was suspected of being part of a terrorist organization and revoked his passport back in 2017.

But it appears the veteran big man will have the freedom to speak his mind in Boston, where his teammates and the local leadership are behind him.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.