Celtics

Ex-Celtic Guerschon Yabusele fined by CBA for not looking at Chinese flag during anthem

Ex-Celtic Guerschon Yabusele fined by CBA for not looking at Chinese flag during anthem

Ex-Celtic Guerschon Yabusele, now playing in the Chinese Basketball Association, got himself in some hot water over the weekend.

The 23-year-old was fined $1,400 and received a "serious warning" for not looking at the Chinese flag during the national anthem before a game. According to TMZ Sports, a rule in the CBA handbook states players must look at the flag during the "March of the Volunteers."

Yabusele apologized for the incident with the following statement:

"I have the same routine, I've been doing this my whole career and I wanted to apologize for the people that took it Personnal [sic] because it was not my point," he said, per TMZ.

"I will show my respect during the Chinese national anthem and keep my head up for now on, Love you guys."

In 2017, a law passed that makes disrespecting the Chinese national anthem a crime that carries a maximum 3-year jail sentence.

Of course, Yabusele clearly meant no disrespect, so that explains the light slap on the wrist for the Celtics' No. 16 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.

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Celtics vs. Heat odds: Best NBA picks with Jayson Tatum's status in doubt

Celtics vs. Heat odds: Best NBA picks with Jayson Tatum's status in doubt

The Boston Celtics and Miami Heat will play with heavy hearts Tuesday following Kobe Bryant's tragic death Sunday.

Whether Jayson Tatum is on the court remains to be seen, however.

The Celtics forward initially was listed as doubtful with a groin injury but made "good progress" in his latest workout and is a game-time decision for Tuesday's game in Miami, per the team.

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The C's certainly could use Tatum: The Heat are tied with the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers for the NBA's best home record at 21-2 and are 1.5 games ahead Boston in the Eastern Conference standings.

Can the Celtics pull off the road upset after falling to the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday? Here are our Celtics-Heat betting predictions, along with two NBA locks against the spread.

(All odds provided by WestGate Superbook.)

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Boston Celtics at Miami Heat, 8 p.m. ET

Moneyline: Miami is outscoring opponents by an average of 10.5 points at home. I think the Celtics will come to play Tuesday night, but I'll still take the Heat (-120) in a close one.

Point Spread: Daniel Theis and Vincent Poirier will have their hands full with Heat big man Bam Adebayo in Enes Kanter's absence. The C's are also 2-5 against the spread in their last seven games against Miami. The Heat (-1) is the smart play.

Point Total: Miami plays at the third-slowest pace in the NBA and is allowing just 105 points per game at home this season. Considering the 219.5 point total, I'm taking the UNDER, which has hit in four of Boston's past five road games.

Darren's record picking the Celtics' moneyline, point spread and point total: 63-35-1 (63.6% success rate)

NBA Locks of the Night

Golden State Warriors at Philadelphia 76ers (-12): See above. The Sixers have lost just two games all year, and Golden State has failed to cover in eight of its last nine games against Philly.

Washington Wizards at Milwaukee Bucks (-11): No need to get cute here. The Bucks are outscoring opponents by an average of 13.9 points at home this season, and there's a good chance the lowly Wizards increase that average.

Darren's record picking NBA locks against the spread: 33-32-1 (50% success rate)

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

Celtics' Gordon Hayward sets record straight on Kobe lane violation

Celtics' Gordon Hayward sets record straight on Kobe lane violation

MIAMI — Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward didn’t want to take praise for something that wasn’t true and set the record straight Tuesday after it was suggested he purposely tried to commit a lane violation to ensure Kobe Bryant would score 60 points in his final NBA game.

A clip of Hayward stepping into the lane early as Bryant took the final free-throw in a 60-point night against Hayward’s Utah Jazz circulated on social media Monday and NBC Sports' Mike Tirico suggested Hayward did it intentionally to ensure Bryant would get another free throw in case he missed.

Hayward said friends bombarded him with messages Monday and he felt the need to set the record straight, taking to Twitter that night to dispel the story. He reiterated that stance Tuesday at Boston’s morning shootaround in Miami.

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"I don't get on Twitter. So, for something to come to my attention, it's got to be pretty big. A bunch of my friends were hitting me about it, and just wanted to get ahead of it and speak the truth about it,” said Hayward. "It would have been really cool if that was the case, but it wasn't. The tweet kind of speaks for itself.

"It's obviously been a tough couple days with what happened. I haven't watched the game or anything like that, but my buddies started texting me about it, and that was the first I'd heard of it. It just was kind of awkward. All these people were sending me stuff about things that, or giving me praise, I guess, for something that I didn't do, or deserve or anything. So I just wanted to set the record straight.”

Hayward praised Bryant while noting, “he got 60 on me and I didn’t give him anything free all night.’ He was asked Tuesday what his memory of that game was.

"Just the whole thing,” said Hayward. "I wrote a blog about it when it happened. The atmosphere was electric and something I probably won't ever be part of again.”

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