Celtics center Tacko Fall reflects on inspirational journey to NBA

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Celtics center Tacko Fall reflects on inspirational journey to NBA

Tacko Fall's story is an incredible one.

From growing up in Africa, to playing at the University of Central Florida, going undrafted, and then signing a contract with the Boston Celtics -- the 7-foot-6 center's journey to the NBA has been quite impressive.

"For me to come from where I came from and start basketball so late ... it’s amazing," Fall recently told Danielle Paquette of the Washington Post. "I hope people can see you can accomplish anything. Believe in yourself. Make it happen. Don’t let anybody tell you you can’t do anything — that’s the most important thing."

Fall signed an Exhibit 10 contract with the Celtics and quickly became one of the organization's most popular players during the NBA Summer League tournament in Las Vegas earlier this month. The UCF product averaged 7.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in five Summer League games for Boston.

Being one of the most famous players (especially on the internet) in Summer League was an unfamiliar situation for Fall, but he's hoping to use it as a positive. 

"That picked up the last couple of months a lot. We live in an era where everything you do is on the Internet," Fall told Paquette. "For me, it’s great. It helps people learn more about you. Especially young people. I want to be someone they can look up to."

Many Celtics fans are really hoping Fall earns a spot on the team's final roster before the regular season opener in October. While it's possible Fall makes a good enough impression during training camp and the preseason to earn one of the 15 roster spots, the team's frontcourt is pretty crowded. 

The Celtics drafted forward Grant Williams, re-signed center Daniel Theis, and signed centers Enes Kanter and Vincent Poirier in free agency since the end of last season. Second-year center Robert Williams figures to play a larger role as well.  

Earning a roster spot won't be easy for Fall, but his impressive interior defense and unique size should give him a chance, and that's all you can ask for.

Tacko Fall talks about 'really awesome' workout with Joel Embiid>>>

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Ray Allen: I would have re-joined Celtics if they signed Kevin Durant

Ray Allen: I would have re-joined Celtics if they signed Kevin Durant

Remember when the Boston Celtics made a serious push for Kevin Durant during the 2016 offseason?

Apparently he wasn't the only player who would have come to Boston in that scenario.

Retired NBA guard Ray Allen, who spent five seasons in Boston from 2007 to 2012, admitted Thursday he spoke with Danny Ainge in 2016 and told the Celtics president of basketball operations he was open to re-joining the C's if they landed Durant in free agency.

"I had a conversation with (Ainge) and I told him this was my last-ditch effort. I would’ve went back,” Allen said on WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni & Fauria" radio show.

"This was when Kevin Durant was a free agent. He was thinking about going to Boston. And I said, ‘Hey, if you guys land Kevin, I would certainly look at lacing them back up one more time and try to make something good happen here in Boston.' "

Allen was two years removed from the NBA at that point and hadn't played since 2014 with the Miami Heat. But Allen played the "sidekick" role well during his stint in Boston, winning an NBA title in 2008 after forming the "Big Three" with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.

Allen didn't have the cleanest split with the Celtics: Several C's players bristled at the sharpshooter's decision to reject Boston's contract offer to sign with the Heat in 2012, taking issue with Allen's lack of communication over his decision.

Pairing Allen with Durant would have made the Celtics an instant title contender, though, and likely would have helped Allen put his past behind him.

Alas, a cameo from Tom Brady wasn't enough for the C's to prevent Durant from joining the Golden State Warriors, leaving fans to ponder this new twist to one of the NBA's great "what ifs."

How tall is Tacko Fall? Celtics center disputes his official NBA measurement

How tall is Tacko Fall? Celtics center disputes his official NBA measurement

So, just how tall is Celtics' fan favorite and fast-growing legend Tacko Fall?

7-foot-7? 7-6? 7-5?

All those heights have been used in stories on the rookie, who will split time between Boston and the Celtics' Gatorade affiliate, the Maine Red Claws, this season.

When the NBA 2K20 video game used Fall as an example of NBA players "shrinking" after their official measurements are listed on rosters, the rookie begged to differ.

Give Tacko the inch, even without shoes?

Whatever the height, Fall making like Tom Brady in a Red Claws practice Thursday is a must-watch: 

As is the big man's bowling prowess with his teammates this week at Marcus Smart's charity event.

Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Warriors, which tips off Friday at 9:30 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call of the game at 10:30 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.