Celtics

Celtics star Jayson Tatum reveals one of his favorite rookie moments

Celtics star Jayson Tatum reveals one of his favorite rookie moments

For many NBA rookies, it can be pretty awe-inspiring to compete against star players who you've admired all your life.

It sure sounds like Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum felt this way when he played against the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road as a rookie during the 2017-18 season.

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The Thunder, at that time, had a veteran-laden roster that included star forwards Paul George and Carmelo Anthony -- two versatile wings with an offensive game similar to Tatum's. Tatum recently talked about his favorite rookie moments, and he mentioned a quick interaction with Anthony that really hit him.

The Celtics trailed the Thunder by 18 points at halftime that night, but thanks to a 22-point second half performance from point guard Kyrie Irving, Boston prevailed with a 101-94 victory to extend its win streak to seven games. Tatum scored 13 points and grabbed six rebounds in 30 minutes of action.

The admiration between Tatum and Anthony goes both ways. Earlier this year, Anthony said he loves watching Tatum play and noted the Celtics forward is "like a little brother to me."

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Tatum had a brilliant rookie campaign and helped lead the Celtics to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. The 22-year-old forward has taken a huge step toward superstardom in the current 2019-20 season, during which he made his first NBA All-Star Game appearance in February. He also won Eastern Conference Player of the Month for February after averaging 30.7 points per game over that stretch.

If Tatum's career trajectory keeps rising, he could someday be a veteran superstar who rookies are really excited to play against for the first time.

NBA Rumors: Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant won't play for Nets when season resumes

NBA Rumors: Kyrie Irving, Kevin Durant won't play for Nets when season resumes

Since the NBA's suspended season has given Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant months to recover from their respective injuries, some believed they could return and make the Brooklyn Nets title contenders.

That theory was put to rest on Friday.

Durant confirmed to ESPN's Marc J. Spears he will not be returning to play when the NBA season resumes in Orlando, Fla. next month. As for Irving, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski says the former Boston Celtics guard suggested on Friday's NBPA conference call it's possible he could join the team... as an inactive player.


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Durant missed the entire 2019-20 campaign after rupturing his Achilles tendon in last year's NBA Finals. Irving underwent surgery in March to repair an impingement in his right shoulder that ended his first season with the Nets after only 20 games.

Brooklyn currently holds the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference with a 30-34 record on the season.

Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck offers thoughts on NBA's 22-team return plan

Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck offers thoughts on NBA's 22-team return plan

On Thursday, the NBA announced a 22-team plan to resume the 2019-20 season in Orlando, Fla.

The plan passed by an overwhelming 29-1 vote among teams, with the Portland Trail Blazers as the only organization to vote against it. Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck, obviously, was one of the many in favor of the plan and discussed why Friday on Felger & Mazz.

"The point that seemed the most fair is not to give a team that was lagging farther behind in the East, and that was for example [the Charlotte Hornets] who are seven games back," Grousbeck said. "In the history of the NBA, no one has ever come from seven games back at this point in the season. And so, it's more fair to say no, we can only take so many teams because of safety.

"We don't want to have 500 more people with all 30 teams. We'd just have more of a chance of getting shut down because of the virus. So there was a line to be drawn, and we all decided 29-1 that this was the most fair line."

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With safety as the No. 1 concern going forward, it's a no-brainer to limit the teams heading down to Walt Disney World to only the ones that can fight for a playoff spot.

Grousbeck also suggested that the Eastern Conference No. 1 seed Milwaukee Bucks could be the C's first opponent when the league returns to action. The Celtics were preparing for a matchup in Milwaukee when the season was suspended in mid-March.

"I think our first game is going to be Milwaukee, which that would be interesting," Grousbeck said. "Because that's what the schedule looks like just from the current schedule. We don't have the new schedule yet. But we'll probably start right off with Milwaukee."

The C's currently have the No. 3 seed in the East as they prepare to return to the court.

You can hear the rest of what Grousbeck had to say in the video above.