Celtics

With Allison Feaster hiring, Celtics continue to add talent and diversity to coaching staff, front office

With Allison Feaster hiring, Celtics continue to add talent and diversity to coaching staff, front office

BOSTON -- The Celtics franchise from its early days has been one of the more progressive NBA teams when it comes to diversity. 

Chuck Cooper, inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday, was the first black player drafted by an NBA team when the Celtics picked him in the 1950 NBA draft. 

The Celtics also delivered the NBA's first all-black starting five in 1964 and first black head coach (Bill Russell) two years later. 

The storied Celtics franchise continues to be a progressive pacesetter these days with the addition of women to their staff and basketball operations. 

Earlier this summer Kara Lawson was named a Celtics assistant coach and on Friday, Danny Ainge announced that Allison Feaster would be joining the Celtics family as well. 

Feaster, a decorated standout basketball player at Harvard and former WNBA player, will be the Celtics director of player development.

Prior to these two hires, the Celtics - like most NBA teams - had no women on the coaching staff or in the team's front office.

But with the increasingly recognized need for diversity, this has led to many employers including the NBA, to look a lot longer and harder at considering women for job vacancies.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has made no secret about his desire to see more women in positions on the bench, in the front office and in officiating.

That message has resonated with many teams, the Celtics included.

Indeed, having more diversity in both the coaching ranks and front office is becoming more of a priority for NBA teams. 

“I think that the biggest thing is, I believe men and women are different and bring a different perspective,” Ainge said on Friday at WBUR’s CitySpace.

But within that unique perspective are skills, talents and abilities that greatly benefit organizations, the qualities that both Lawson and Feaster bring to the table.

Last season, the Celtics had a roster full of players that at the end of the day, had their own agendas because of their own unique set of circumstances.

Having spent 13 seasons in the WNBA, Lawson has more professional basketball experience than any of Boston's other assistants which gives her tremendous insight for the job.

“My perspective that I try to bring is, I’ve been there,” Lawson said during an interview in July. “I’ve won a championship. I’ve played almost any role you can possibly play on a team. I’ve been a rookie where I didn’t play a lot. I’ve been a point guard where I started every game and we made it to the conference finals. I’ve been a sixth man more years than I wanted to be. So I can relate to when you get put to that sixth position. And it sucks when you come in every day and the starters are in green and you are in white. It’s the worst, but you have to deal with it and you gotta be a pro. So, most of the things they experienced emotionally, I have experienced too. I can not just understand,  but I can relate to their ups and downs.”

Feaster comes in having spent 10 years (1998-2008) playing in the WNBA, and nearly two decades (1998-2016) playing overseas. She comes to Boston after having served as manager of player personnel and coach relations for the G-League.

“These two women we brought in are very, very well educated, experienced in the world of basketball,” Ainge said. “And I think they are going to bring a great perspective to our coaching staff and to our organization.”

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 endorses former teammate, Rudy Gobert, for NBA All-Star Game

Enes Kanter endorses former teammate, Rudy Gobert, for NBA All-Star Game

Enes Kanter has been nothing but supportive of his Boston Celtics teammates since joining the squad this summer.

Whether it's been mentoring Tacko Fall or advocating for his young teammates Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum to make the All-Star Game, Kanter has had an impact on the C's

And evidently, Kanter's support even extends to former teammates..

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

On Saturday night, Kanter took to Twitter to implore NBA coaches to pick Rudy Gobert for the 2020 NBA All-Star Game. Kanter and Gobert were teammates for a season and a half together with the Utah Jazz before Kanter was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Gobert's performance against the Dallas Mavericks prompted Kanter's tweet. In the Saturday contest, Gobert totaled 22 points, 17 boards, and five blocks, including a game-winning one at the end of regulation.

Despite his defensive prowess, Gobert has never made an All-Star appearance. He has two Defensive Player of the Year awards and two All-NBA nods, but the All-Star appearance has eluded him.

Given that Gobert is averaging 15.6 points, 14.5 rebounds, 2.0 blocks per game, and is shooting 68.3 percent from the field, it probably should be his year to make it. We'll see if Kanter's tweet has any influence on the minds of the coaches voting for All-Star reserves.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Pelicans, which begins Sunday at 5:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, followed by tip-off at 6 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

How Tremont Waters, Romeo Langford fared for Red Claws vs. Westchester Knicks

How Tremont Waters, Romeo Langford fared for Red Claws vs. Westchester Knicks

The Maine Red Claws came into the Westchester County Center Saturday night looking to extend their win streak to three. No strangers to furious late-game rallies of late, Maine got another such scare just when things were looking comfy. 

The Westchester Knicks seized control in the fourth quarter, using a 14-2 run to take a 97-94 lead with six minutes to go. But that momentum was short-lived. Sparked by a three-pointer from 2019 second-round pick Tremont Waters, the Claws closed the game out on a 16-6 run to give them their 10th win in 11 games.

Here's a look at Waters and 2019 first-round pick Romeo Langford’s best highlights, and their final stat lines.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

TREMONT WATERS

As usual, the rookie from LSU — who grew up in New Haven, just an hour north of the Knicks’ arena in White Plains, N.Y. — was one of Maine’s steadiest. With an effective field goal percentage of 63 and a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, he took command when the Claws needed him most. He finished with 21 points and six rebounds, all of them defensive.

ROMEO LANGFORD

It wasn’t a pretty night for Langford, who started the evening 2 for 10 from the floor and finished 33 percent shooting for 14 points. But despite the lack of stat sheet appeal, he was a team-high plus-14 in 33 minutes.

After Waters, the two most productive nights belonged to Yante Maten and Kaiser Gates. Maten, the former SEC Player of the Year at Georgia, was 8 for 12 from the floor for a team-high 23 points and nine rebounds despite being a team-worst minus-6. Gates was 3 for 8 from three-point range and a plus-10, finishing with 15 points and six rebounds.

The Red Claws are now 8-1 in January, good enough for second in the G League’s Eastern Conference. Optimism continues to bloom with this young but talented roster.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Pelicans, which begins Sunday at 5:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.