The NBA, like the rest of the sports world, continues in shutdown mode, but Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck and Danny Ainge, the C's president of basketball operations, remained hopeful that some kind of season could be salvaged.
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Grousbeck told "Felger and Mazz" this week that "when it's safe, we're going to go ahead. I'm not predicting when." He said he remains optimistic.
Ainge reiterated that optimistic tone in a Zoom conference call with the media Wednesday, but admitted that if the season and playoffs have to be completed without fans, "It's not ideal."
On the latest edition of the Celtics Talk Podcast, our crew of Kyle Draper and C's Insiders A. Sherrod Blakely and Chris Forsberg react to those comments and also talk "Last Dance" - ESPN's Michael Jordan documentary that has the NBA world buzzing.
As for playing without fans, Forsberg said he'd welcome the return of any form of the NBA, but admits the atmosphere would be lacking: "I think about the playoffs in the TD Garden, it's that atmosphere. The people going nuts and the team getting a lift from that. If there's a 10-2 run with no noise, do you even notice it?"
Blakely agreed, but pointed to some potential positives, as in being able to hear the players going at each other.
"There are going to be elements of this fan-less basketball that are going to be a positive," Blakely said. "When you are playing pickup ball on the street and you've got really good guys on the court playing, they talk smack on a level that you have never seen."
One of those talkers, Blakely pointed out is the Celtics' Marcus Smart, "one of the world's below-the-radar smack talkers. I'm looking forward to what he has to say."
Could Smart back up that talk if he had to square off with Jordan back in the day?
Said Forsberg, "I wonder if even Marcus, someone who we think is one of the best defenders in the league, could shut him down."
One Celtic who did give M.J. a difficult time defensively, Blakely recalled, was the late, great Reggie Lewis, who once blocked four Jordan shots in a game and, with his long 6-foot-7 frame, "did a really good job on him every time he played him."
But a modern-day Jordan stopper? Blakely said no one today could shut Jordan down, but reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks gets his vote.
"Giannis because of that ridiculous length that he has. No one shuts [Jordan[ down, but length, athleticism those are the two things that Giannis brings to the table."
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