Celtics

Celtics buy the Maine Red Claws but all the talk is about - who else? - Tacko Fall

Celtics buy the Maine Red Claws but all the talk is about - who else? - Tacko Fall

PORTLAND, Maine -- The day was supposed to be about the Celtics taking over ownership of the Maine Red Claws, a move that strengthens an already Teflon-tough bond that has existed for years between the two franchises. 

“This is important to the Celtics player development efforts,” said Rich Gotham, Celtics team president. “We love the market up here. You might think it’s a hockey state if you didn’t know any better. But you find out quickly it really is a great basketball state, so we’re happy to be in Maine and being in a vibrant city like Portland.”

But anything Celtics-related in some way, shape or form these days will come back to Tacko Fall, the 7-foot-6 sensation who attracts attention anywhere he’s at - and, in this case, where he’ll be in the near future. 

Fall recently signed a two-way contract with the Celtics, which means the bulk of this season will be spent in Maine as a member of the Red Claws, the C's Gatorade League affiliate. 

Undrafted out of Central Florida in last June’s draft, Fall has been on the minds of Red Claws fans for quite a while, actually. 

“After his first appearance in summer league with the Celtics, we couldn’t go a day in the state of Maine without someone asking, “Is Tacko going to be in Maine?” said Dajuan Eubanks, the Red Claws team president.

The good folks of Maine will get their wish now that Fall has been signed to the two-way contract, which allows him to spend no more than 45 days with the Celtics while the rest of his time will be spent with the Red Claws. 

“For us, it’s going to be great to have someone of that stature,” Eubanks said. “He has a lot of promise as well. I’m excited to have him here and develop.”

But TackoMania is clearly not just a New England or Celtics thing. 

Everywhere the Celtics have played, Fall has become an instant fan favorite with chants of “We Want Tacko” beginning sometime around the latter stages of the first quarter or in the second, even though he has played primarily in the fourth quarter this preseason. 

While it’s still to be determined whether he will start or how many minutes he will play, there’s no question that the Red Claws have every intention of finding a way to utilize him on the floor, certainly more than he has been used by the Celtics in the preseason. 

“Development is such a huge part of what we do, making players better on and off the court,” said Austin Ainge, the Celtics’ director of player personnel. “And the G-League has now become an essential part of that.”

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.

The Enes Kanter Show: Awesome story about Kevin Garnett's Celtics arrival

the_enes_kanter_show_16x9.jpg
NBC Sports Boston Illustration

The Enes Kanter Show: Awesome story about Kevin Garnett's Celtics arrival

Everyone has a great Kevin Garnett story. And Enes Kanter's pretty much sums up how intensely committed KG was to winning.

The Boston Celtics forward recently ran into Garnett in Boston at the regional premiere of "Uncut Gems," a new movie Garnett stars in with Adam Sandler.

According to Kanter, Celtics lead owner Wyc Grousbeck also was at the premiere and told Kanter of the first time Garnett walked into TD Garden after being traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Celtics in the summer of 2007.

Here's Kanter with NBC Sports Boston's Chris Forsberg on the latest episode of "The Enes Kanter Show:"

(Grousbeck) told me a story. He said, "When KG came to the Celtics, he stopped and looked at every (championship) banner for 30 minutes. For 30 minutes. And he studied (them). ... Before he came (to Boston), we had 16 banners. So, that's 30 minutes for every banner. And it's like, 'How do you spend that much (time)?' 

As Forsberg pointed out, that's essentially eight hours of Garnett staring at the TD Garden rafters and soaking in the franchise's rich history.

That may have been some hyperbole on Grousbeck's part, but if anyone would be that maniacally focused on success, it's the uber-competitive Garnett.

"Anybody else, I would be like, 'That's an exaggerated tale,' " Forsberg said, "but I can actually believe that with KG."

Garnett's commitment to winning paid off instantly, as the Celtics raised banner No. 17 to the rafters in his first season with the team in 2007-08.

Kanter and Forsberg also discussed what makes Garnett such a great trash talker, how his current minutes situation differs from his time with the New York Knicks, what the Celtics' chemistry is like on this team and much more.

Hear more from Kanter and Forsberg on Episode 5 of "The Enes Kanter Show," which drops every Wednesday on YouTube and the NBC Sports Boston podcast network.

 

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Pacers, which tips off Wednesday at 6 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call at 7 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

Celtics Talk Podcast: How will ex-Celtics' big man Al Horford be received in return to Boston with 76ers?

celtics_talk_podcast.png
NBC Sports Boston Illlustration

Celtics Talk Podcast: How will ex-Celtics' big man Al Horford be received in return to Boston with 76ers?

Al Horford makes his return to TD Garden Thursday night in a Philadelphia 76ers uniform. How will the former Celtics big man be received now that's he joined one of Boston's key rivals in the East?

That's just one of the many storylines ahead of Philly's first game in Boston and the first meeting for the teams since the Sixers easily defeated the Celtics back on opening night in late October. 

Kyle Draper and Chris Forsberg talk about it in the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast. 

"It should be all love," said Draper, "but let's keep it real: The way Horford went about it, some people aren't happy about it. It sounds like him and the Sixers had some kind agreement before you're allowed to actually talk. I get the sense that they [the Celtics] were caught off guard a little bit."

LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE HERE:

Earlier in the podcast, Forsberg is joined by Sixers reporter Serena Winters from NBC Sports Philly to talk about all things 76ers, including Ben Simmons, Horford's veteran influence on the team and where Boston and Philadelphia are now as compared to the opener. 

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Pacers, which tips off Wednesday at 6 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call at 7 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.