This All-Star Weekend is twice as fun for Celtics' Kemba Walker

This All-Star Weekend is twice as fun for Celtics' Kemba Walker

CHICAGO — After years of showing up to All-Star weekend as a solo act, Kemba Walker has no problem sharing the spotlight for a change, with teammate Jayson Tatum. 

While this is Walker’s fourth All-Star selection, it’ll be the first time he has been chosen along with a teammate. Tatum makes his All-Star debut on Sunday.  

“It’s exciting man, it’s exciting,” Walker told NBC Sports Boston. “Like I’ve been saying all year, he’s a special talent. He deserves to be here. And I’m happy I’m able to share this moment with him, his first one. This is the one he’s never going to forget, ever.”

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The All-Star format will pit the two teammates against each other. Walker's playing for Team Giannis (Antetokounmpo), while Tatum's on Team LeBron (James). 

As connected as Walker and Tatum are on and off the floor (they are Boston's top two scorers), they are competitors first and foremost. 

To no surprise, the trash talking by both is in full bloom right now. They will certainly go out of their way to be matched up against each other at some point on Sunday.

The two played an NBA 2K with their own respective All-Star teams which ended with Walker getting the win. 

“So right now, I’m ahead of him,” Walker said. “Tomorrow is going to be fun. I’m looking forward to it.”

Forsberg: Jayson Tatum isn’t waiting for All-Star Weekend to shine

Tatum has repeatedly said he will go at his teammate, who is at least eight inches shorter. Walker says he’ll counter by going at Tatum and using the first-time All-Star's own game against him.  

“I’m gonna hit him with his own move,” Walker said. “I got it down pat. I’m gonna hit him with the step back to the right or the left which he usually does.”

When the game's over, the two will embrace and quickly refocus their talents and skills on the Celtics, picking up where they left off. Boston won 10 if its last 11 games before the All-Star break.

Boston’s success is very much fueled by the team’s strong collective efforts. But there’s no getting around the fact that the play of Tatum is critical to Boston’s short and long-term growth. 

Walker believes a big part of Tatum’s improved play this season centers around his ability to read coverages at both ends of the floor. 

“Being on the court, he’s just making the right plays,” Walker said. “You could just see the growth from early on in the season to now.” 

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Who are the best point guards in Celtics history? Ranking the Top 10

Who are the best point guards in Celtics history? Ranking the Top 10

It's no surprise that the Boston Celtics, the team that has won more championships than any other — 17 — also has an incredible list of point guards that have taken the floor over the franchise's storied history.

Their most famous floor general, Bob Cousy, helped the Celtics to their first six titles, but some of the best point guards in team history have taken the floor more recently.

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Much more recently, in fact. Brad Stevens has only been Boston's head coach since 2013, but he has coached four different All-Star point guards in that time.

Some of the team's best point guards have even gone on to success in the Celtics front office and on the sidelines. 

So from Cooz to Kemba, DJ to Jo Jo, these are the best point guards in Celtics history.

Click here for Chris Forsberg's Top 10.

Why isn't Gordon Hayward participating in players' NBA 2K tournament?

Why isn't Gordon Hayward participating in players' NBA 2K tournament?

When a report surfaced Monday night that the NBA is launching an NBA 2K tournament pitting players against each other, Boston Celtics fans all had the same thought:

Gordon Hayward isn't just going to participate in this. He's going to dominate it.

The Celtics forward, after all, is probably the NBA's most avid video gamer, with his own sponsor (HyperX Gaming) and numerous blog posts about his love for gaming.

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But when ESPN's "The Boardroom" revealed the 16 players who will compete in the tournament Tuesday, Hayward was nowhere to be found.

What gives? Does No. 1 overall seed Kevin Durant have a vendetta against Hayward? Is Hayward too good to concern himself with these casual gamers?

In all likelihood, there's a simpler answer: Hayward doesn't really play 2K -- or any sports video game, for that matter.

Here's Hayward in a 2011 interview with ESPN:

"The one thing I've never been into are the sports games. I don't know, I just don't like playing those as much. I bought 'NBA 2K11' just to see myself. It was creepily similar and it's cool to say that you're in a video game, but I'm just not into it that much. I'm more into first-person shooters and real-time strategy games."

That's still the case today, apparently. Hayward lists seven "favorite games" on his HyperX Gaming page, and only one of them (FIFA) is sports-related: Fortnite, League of Legends, Overwatch, Hearthstone, FIFA, Destiny and Clash Royale.

In that context, it's obvious why Hayward wasn't one of the 16 competitors selected, especially considering how many other players are obsessed with 2K.

That said, we would have liked to see at least one Celtic make the cut here; after all, Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum both starred in a trailer for NBA 2K20 last August.

The tournament kicks off this Friday on ESPN, giving sports fans at least something to watch (aside from "Classic Celtics," of course) while the NBA is on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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