Celtics

Grant Williams, Celtics rookies choose rarely-used C's uniform numbers

Grant Williams, Celtics rookies choose rarely-used C's uniform numbers

Grant Williams wasn't kidding when he mentioned the difficulty of finding a Boston Celtics uniform number that isn't retired.

Williams and the Celtics' three other selections in the 2019 NBA Draft met the media Monday for an introductory press conference at the Auerbach Center.

They also showed off their new Boston uniforms, and you won't find many with a rich tradition.

Here's each player and their number:

Romeo Langford: No. 45
Grant Williams: No. 40
Carsen Edwards: No. 29
Tremont Waters: No. 51

Langford, the Celtics' top selection Thursday, at 14th overall, chose a number recently occupied by C's legends such as Raef Lafrentz (2004-06), Carlos Arroyo (2011), Gerald Wallace (2014-15) and Kadeem Allen (2018).

After realizing he couldn't wear No. 2 (retired for Red Auerbach) and No. 5 (soon-to-be retired for Kevin Garnett), Williams settled for 40, last worn by Michael Finley and Oliver Lafayette in 2010.

Edwards' No. 29 hasn't been operational in Boston since Pervis Ellison wore it in 2000, while Keyon Dooling (2012) was the last Celtic to wear No. 51.

Waters was drafted 51st overall, and said on the Celtics' Instagram story Monday he picked the same uniform number as a motivator because "in my opinion, I felt like I should have been drafted higher."

The rookies can and probably will choose new numbers after players from last year's roster leave town (Kyrie Irving among them, perhaps?) when free agency begins. But with 21 retired numbers, the Celtics aren't giving their young kids a ton of options.

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Boston Celtics vs. Washington Wizards live stream: Watch NBA game online

Boston Celtics vs. Washington Wizards live stream: Watch NBA game online

The Boston Celtics will welcome an old friend back to TD Garden on Wednesday night.

Washington Wizards point guard Isaiah Thomas will be making his second appearance in Boston since the Celtics traded him to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a deal involving Kyrie Irving before the 2017-18 season. Thomas played just two-and-a-half seasons with the C's, but he quickly became a fan favorite for his fourth-quarter heroics, impressive work ethic and many other factors.

Thomas received a massive ovation in his first game back in Boston last season, and Wednesday's matchup should be an emotional one, too. 

The Celtics enter this matchup with the best record in the NBA (8-1) and the longest active win streak at eight games. Veteran forward Gordon Hayward is expected to miss six weeks after fracturing his left hand Saturday against the San Antonio Spurs, but Jaylen Brown and Javonte Green have stepped up in his absence with valuable scoring. Brown has scored 55 points over the last two games and appears to be headed for a breakout campaign.

Will the Celtics extend their win streak, or will Thomas and the Wizards pull off an upset win? Be sure to watch NBC Sports Boston for "Celtics Pregame Live" at 7 p.m. ET, followed by the game at 7:30 p.m. or stream it via the MyTeams app. 

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ANALYSIS AND REACTION

BEFORE THE GAME: At 7 p.m., Celtics Pregame Live presented by TD Bank gets you ready for the game with reports from Kyle Draper, Tommy HeinsohnMike 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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The Enes Kanter Show: What makes Tacko Fall so popular and likeable?

The Enes Kanter Show: What makes Tacko Fall so popular and likeable?

Tacko Fall has become a very popular player in Boston and throughout the NBA since he made his Celtics debut in the 2019 Summer League, and that love doesn't just involve fans.

His Celtics teammates really enjoy being around him, too. Celtics center Enes Kanter, who signed with Boston as a free agent in July, has developed a friendship with Fall, and he explained on the debut episode of NBC Sports Boston's "The Enes Kanter Show" podcast why the 7-foot-5 center is a "rock star."

"He's not just a fan favorite, he's a player favorite, too," Kanter said. "It's just so nice to be around that guy -- because obviously he's an amazing basketball player, and I watched him in summer league and I was like, 'This dude is gonna be a rock star.' Not a superstar, a rock star.

"Obviously, he works hard and he's always playing basketball and everything, but what makes him a rock star is his personality and his character. He's one of the most kind players you will see, and the players want to be around him because he always brings positive energy and he is that glue guy. That's why I think the fans love him. That's what's going to make him a rock star. I'm excited about him. He's going to be special in this league."

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Fall has played in one regular season game -- Oct. 26 versus the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Knicks fans were chanting "Tacko!" in the fourth quarter, and when he entered the game, the 23-year-old center scored four points with three rebounds in four minutes of action. Each of Fall's baskets created as much excitement and cheering as MSG has seen all season (sorry, Knicks), which really shows you how much of a fan favorite he has become.

The Celtics have a deep roster, so Fall will play plenty of games with the G-League's Maine Red Claws throughout the 2019-20 season to continue developing his skills. Still, Tacko Fall is going to be a fan favorite regardless of where he plays. He has the type of game and charisma fans really enjoy.

Don’t miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Wizards, which tips off Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Tommy have the call of the game at 7:30 p.m. You can also stream the game through the MyTeams App.