Celtics

Celtics well-represented on 2020 U.S. Olympic basketball team finalist list

Celtics well-represented on 2020 U.S. Olympic basketball team finalist list

A quartet of Boston Celtics players represented USA Basketball at the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

We could see as many as five Celtics representatives at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Gordon Hayward are among the 44 finalists who could make the 2020 U.S. Men's Olympic Team.

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Here's the full list:

With five players on the list, the Celtics are tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for the most well-represented team. Walker, Smart, Tatum and Brown all made the FIBA World Cup squad, with Walker (13.4 points, 5.0 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game) leading the way for a USA team that finished a disappointing seventh.

Several American NBA stars declined to play in that tournament, though, and the Celtics' contingent should face stiffer competition to make the Olympic roster, which typically includes the best NBA talent. (None of the current Celtics were on the U.S. team that won gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.)

But Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich has spoken glowingly about each C's player on his FIBA World Cup roster -- especially Tatum -- so it's possible Boston could land one or two players on the final 12-man roster.

Team USA will announce its final roster "later this year," according to USA Basketball. Celtics fans also could see two more familiar faces at the 2020 Olympics: Daniel Theis represented Germany at the FIBA World Cup, while Vincent Poirier could suit up for France.

The 2020 Olympics begin on July 24 in Tokyo.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Rockets, which begins Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 9:30 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

Who are the best point guards in Celtics history? Ranking the Top 10

Who are the best point guards in Celtics history? Ranking the Top 10

It's no surprise that the Boston Celtics, the team that has won more championships than any other — 17 — also has an incredible list of point guards that have taken the floor over the franchise's storied history.

Their most famous floor general, Bob Cousy, helped the Celtics to their first six titles, but some of the best point guards in team history have taken the floor more recently.

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Much more recently, in fact. Brad Stevens has only been Boston's head coach since 2013, but he has coached four different All-Star point guards in that time.

Some of the team's best point guards have even gone on to success in the Celtics front office and on the sidelines. 

So from Cooz to Kemba, DJ to Jo Jo, these are the best point guards in Celtics history.

Click here for Chris Forsberg's Top 10.

Why isn't Gordon Hayward participating in players' NBA 2K tournament?

Why isn't Gordon Hayward participating in players' NBA 2K tournament?

When a report surfaced Monday night that the NBA is launching an NBA 2K tournament pitting players against each other, Boston Celtics fans all had the same thought:

Gordon Hayward isn't just going to participate in this. He's going to dominate it.

The Celtics forward, after all, is probably the NBA's most avid video gamer, with his own sponsor (HyperX Gaming) and numerous blog posts about his love for gaming.

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But when ESPN's "The Boardroom" revealed the 16 players who will compete in the tournament Tuesday, Hayward was nowhere to be found.

What gives? Does No. 1 overall seed Kevin Durant have a vendetta against Hayward? Is Hayward too good to concern himself with these casual gamers?

In all likelihood, there's a simpler answer: Hayward doesn't really play 2K -- or any sports video game, for that matter.

Here's Hayward in a 2011 interview with ESPN:

"The one thing I've never been into are the sports games. I don't know, I just don't like playing those as much. I bought 'NBA 2K11' just to see myself. It was creepily similar and it's cool to say that you're in a video game, but I'm just not into it that much. I'm more into first-person shooters and real-time strategy games."

That's still the case today, apparently. Hayward lists seven "favorite games" on his HyperX Gaming page, and only one of them (FIFA) is sports-related: Fortnite, League of Legends, Overwatch, Hearthstone, FIFA, Destiny and Clash Royale.

In that context, it's obvious why Hayward wasn't one of the 16 competitors selected, especially considering how many other players are obsessed with 2K.

That said, we would have liked to see at least one Celtic make the cut here; after all, Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum both starred in a trailer for NBA 2K20 last August.

The tournament kicks off this Friday on ESPN, giving sports fans at least something to watch (aside from "Classic Celtics," of course) while the NBA is on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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