Celtics

Former Celtics star Al Jefferson confirms NBA retirement, will join Big 3 league

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Former Celtics star Al Jefferson confirms NBA retirement, will join Big 3 league

Al Jefferson is officially done as an NBA player.

The former Boston Celtics power forward confirmed his retirement from the NBA to the Boston Globe's Gary Washburn on Saturday. 

Jefferson last played 36 games for the Indiana Pacers during the 2017-18 season. He did not make an appearance this season.

The 34-year-old veteran played for five different teams over 14 seasons. He was selected by the Boston Celtics with the 15th pick in the first round of the 2004 NBA Draft. Jefferson immediately became the building block of the Celtics' rebuild alongside veteran Paul Pierce. 

Jefferson's ascent to one of the premier young big men in the league helped the Celtics acquire future Hall of Fame forward Kevin Garnett in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2007. Jefferson was the prized piece of the Wolves' return for Garnett, and without the young star, the C's might not have been able to pull off the deal. That trade arguably was the primary reason why C's won the 2008 NBA Finals as Garnett changed the culture in Boston, won 2008 Defensive Player of the Year and was a nightmare for opponents on offense. 

So, as Jefferson transitions from NBA retirement to a new career in the "Big 3", Celtics fans should always appreciate him for helping the franchise reach its ultimate goal after a 22-year drought.

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Celtics injuries: Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown out vs. Magic

Celtics injuries: Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown out vs. Magic

The Boston Celtics are getting progressively more banged-up.

Jaylen Brown (ankle) has been ruled out of Friday's game at the Orlando Magic. He joins Jayson Tatum (groin) on the injury report, and head coach Brad Stevens has said big man Enes Kanter likely will miss the next two games with a right hip contusion.

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The Celtics routed the Grizzlies without Brown on Wednesday but lost both Tatum and Kanter to injury. Boston has rarely operated at full strength this season, as Friday will mark the 28th game the team will play without at least one of Tatum, Brown, Kemba Walker or Gordon Hayward in the lineup.

The silver lining for C's fans: Boston on Friday recalled rookie big man Tacko Fall, who might see some action near his old stomping grounds (Fall attended the University of Central Florida in Orland) with Kanter and Robert Williams out.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Magic, which begins Friday at 6 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, followed by tip-off at 7 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

Celtics vs. Magic live stream: Watch NBA game online

Celtics vs. Magic live stream: Watch NBA game online

The Celtics have bounced back from a stretch where they had lost six of eight games to put together two of their best wins of the season - blowout victories of the Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies.  They'll now try to keep it going on the road when they visit the Orlando Magic Friday night to start a three-game trip.

Jayson Tatum, who was the Celtics' leading scorer with 23 points in the 119-95 win over the Grizzlies before leaving in the third quarter with a groin injury, won't play tonight and Jaylen Brown, who missed the Memphis game with an ankle sprain, is a game-time decision as the C's quest to put together their regular lineup, all healthy at the same time, will have to wait at least another game (the trip continues Sunday at New Orleans and Tuesday at Miami).

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

The Celtics will also be without center Enes Kanter (right hip contusion).

The Magic come in having lost three of four, including a home loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, since beating the Lakers in L.A. on Jan. 15. It's the first of four meetings this season between Boston and Orlando. The C's host the Magic on Feb. 5.  

Here's how to watch NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics vs. Magic, beginning at 6 p.m. ET. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

HOW TO WATCH

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ANALYSIS AND REACTION

BEFORE THE GAME: At 6 p.m., Celtics Pregame Live presented by TD Bank gets you ready for the game with reports from Kyle Draper, Mike Gorman, Brian Scalabrine, A. Sherrod Blakely, Chris Forsberg, and Abby Chin. Watch on NBC Sports Boston or click here for the live stream.

AT HALFTIME: Tune in to watch a breakdown of the first two quarters on Halftime Live presented by Ace Ticket. Watch on NBC Sports Boston or click here for the live stream.

AFTER THE GAME: As soon as the game ends, tune to Celtics Postgame Live presented by New England Ford for analysis, commentary and player reaction. Watch on NBC Sports Boston or click here for the live stream

Questions on our livestream? Get all your questions answered here on our Streaming FAQ.

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