Celtics

Celtics tweak L.A. itinerary to allow players to attend Kobe Bryant memorial

Celtics tweak L.A. itinerary to allow players to attend Kobe Bryant memorial

Kobe Bryant's death deeply affected several members of the Boston Celtics.

Thanks to some advance planning, they'll be able to pay their respects to the Los Angeles Lakers legend if they wish.

The Celtics, who play the Lakers on Feb. 23, have moved their midday flight out of Los Angeles on Feb. 24 to later in the afternoon to accommodate any players or staffers who want to attend Bryant's memorial service, per The Boston Globe's Adam Himmelsbach.

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The service for Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, who were among nine killed in a Jan. 26 helicopter crash outside L.A., begins at 10 a.m. local time at Staples Center.

Boston plays in Portland against the Trail Blazers the following day (Feb. 25) as part of a four-game road trip out of the NBA All-Star break.

"I knew we’d have a number of guys that might want to go to the memorial," head coach Brad Stevens told Himmelsbach. "It’ll be completely up to them, but we wanted to give us that flexibility and that option. Staff and players will all be able to go if they want to."

Celtics star Jayson Tatum, who idolized Bryant and worked out with the Lakers legend this past offseason, indicated he plans to attend the memorial.

It's unclear who will join Tatum, but it's a good move by the Celtics to at least allow their members to attend the service considering they'll already be in the city.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Clippers-Celtics, which begins Thursday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.

Report: NBA to launch 16-team 2K tournament

Report: NBA to launch 16-team 2K tournament

It looks like Esports' time to shine is finally here.

With all the major sports leagues on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA has come up with a creative solution to create some new basketball-based programming.

According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, the league will be hosting a players-only NBA 2K tournament beginning Friday that will air on a major network. Haynes is reporting that the tournament will feature 16 NBA players and will take place over the course of 10 days.

This is a good way for the league to create some new basketball-related excitement with the season currently suspended. It will certainly be fun to see how players who are so good on the basketball court can fare in the realm of basketball video games.

It's unclear if a member of the Boston Celtics will be involved in the tournament, but it certainly is possible. The ideal Celtic to be featured would be Gordon Hayward, as he's an avid gamer and would almost certainly be able to lead the 2K Celtics to some victories.

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If Hayward isn't the choice, Grant Williams would be another logical option. He disclosed to NBC Sports Boston's A. Sherrod Blakely that he loves playing video games on an episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast shortly after he was drafted.

No matter what, it will be entertaining to watch NBA players square off against each other again, even if no Celtics are involved in the 2K tournament.

Speaking of 2K action, be sure to check out our latest Celtics simulation. The 2K-C's took on the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night as they looked to keep their winning streak alive.

How well does 21-year-old Jayson Tatum compare to 21-year-old Michael Jordan?

How well does 21-year-old Jayson Tatum compare to 21-year-old Michael Jordan?

We know that Jayson Tatum is on the path to NBA stardom. But is he on a similar pace to one of the greatest players ever to play the game, Michael Jordan?

You be the judge.

Boston Sports Info (@BostonSportsInf) checked out the statistical comparison between Jayson Tatum and Michael Jordan during their 21-year-old seasons. And when looking at the numbers on a per 36-minute basis, they were relatively close in most major categories.

In addition to the numbers pictured, Tatum averaged 3.1 assists, 1.5 steals, and 0.9 blocks per 36 as a 21-year-old. Meanwhile, Jordan got 5.5 assists, 2.2 steals, and 0.8 blocks per 36.

So, Jordan edged Tatum in most categories, save for Tatum's rebounding advantage and his ever-so-slight blocks advantage. Of course, it's worth noting that Jordan entered the league as a 21-year-old rookie, so he had no NBA experience while he put up these excellent numbers. Tatum had 143 games of regular-season experience and 19 games of playoff experience before his 21st birthday.

Regardless, the point is that Tatum is still developing very well and the fact that his numbers can even be comparable to one of the NBA's all-time greats is an excellent sign. He should continue to progress and should soon be one of the top players in the NBA if he continues on his current trajectory.

Tatum may not reach Jordan level. Few ever do. But the stats indicate that he's on the right track very early on in his career.

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