Celtics

Kemba Walker details how Jayson Tatum recruited him at Jordan event in Paris

Kemba Walker details how Jayson Tatum recruited him at Jordan event in Paris

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It seemed innocuous at the time: the Boston Celtics forward, fresh off his new deal with Jordan Brand, hanging out with a few basketball notables -- among them Kemba Walker and Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan -- at a company event in Paris in late June.

Then word leaked three days later that the Celtics were a "stealth suitor" for Walker in free agency. Five days after that, Walker had agreed to four-year, $141 million maximum contract with Boston to become the new face of the franchise.

All of which begs the question: Was Tatum pitching Walker on the Celtics right under Jordan's nose?

The answer, as Walker confirmed in an interview aired Wednesday with ESPN's Jackie MacMullan, was yes.

"Me and Jayson actually spoke for quite some time," Walker said of their interactions in Paris. "Jayson’s such a good guy, such a great player. For the most part, I like being around high-character guys with work ethic. Just guys who I can be around, be myself around. That’s kind of the vibe I got from JT when I was around him."

"When we left Paris, as the days went on and free agency came and I made my decision, a lot was because of him.”

But Tatum wasn't aggressive in trying to convince Walker to leave Charlotte. In fact, Walker insisted Tatum never told him outright to come to Boston.

"It was more so about the city, about the fans, the atmosphere, coach (Brad) Stevens and some of the players on the team, last year and how things went," Walker said. "Just stuff like that. Not once did he say, ‘come.’ Not once.' "

Walker said he also spent time with Jaylen Brown two years ago in Africa, describing the young Celtics forward as "a great kid" who's "so down to earth."

It took a lot for Walker to leave Charlotte, the only NBA team he'd known. But his positive impression of Tatum and Brown clearly played a factor in his decision ... which means Celtics fans owe Jordan a "thank you" for inviting Tatum to Paris.

CELTICS TALK PODCAST: LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE

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Watch Celtics rookie Carsen Edwards hit 8 3s in third quarter vs. Cavaliers

Watch Celtics rookie Carsen Edwards hit 8 3s in third quarter vs. Cavaliers

Tuesday night's Celtics-Cavaliers preseason matchup was the Carsen Edwards Show.

The C's rookie guard came out of the locker room at halftime on fire, draining eight 3-pointers in the third quarter.

Watch below:

Edwards actually had a rough start to the game as he briefly exited after taking an elbow to the face and struggled to find consistency shooting the ball. It's safe to say Boston's second-round draft pick turned his luck around.

The C's entered Tuesday's game in Cleveland with a 3-0 preseason record.

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Celtics buy the Maine Red Claws but all the talk is about - who else? - Tacko Fall

Celtics buy the Maine Red Claws but all the talk is about - who else? - Tacko Fall

PORTLAND, Maine -- The day was supposed to be about the Celtics taking over ownership of the Maine Red Claws, a move that strengthens an already Teflon-tough bond that has existed for years between the two franchises. 

“This is important to the Celtics player development efforts,” said Rich Gotham, Celtics team president. “We love the market up here. You might think it’s a hockey state if you didn’t know any better. But you find out quickly it really is a great basketball state, so we’re happy to be in Maine and being in a vibrant city like Portland.”

But anything Celtics-related in some way, shape or form these days will come back to Tacko Fall, the 7-foot-6 sensation who attracts attention anywhere he’s at - and, in this case, where he’ll be in the near future. 

Fall recently signed a two-way contract with the Celtics, which means the bulk of this season will be spent in Maine as a member of the Red Claws, the C's Gatorade League affiliate. 

Undrafted out of Central Florida in last June’s draft, Fall has been on the minds of Red Claws fans for quite a while, actually. 

“After his first appearance in summer league with the Celtics, we couldn’t go a day in the state of Maine without someone asking, “Is Tacko going to be in Maine?” said Dajuan Eubanks, the Red Claws team president.

The good folks of Maine will get their wish now that Fall has been signed to the two-way contract, which allows him to spend no more than 45 days with the Celtics while the rest of his time will be spent with the Red Claws. 

“For us, it’s going to be great to have someone of that stature,” Eubanks said. “He has a lot of promise as well. I’m excited to have him here and develop.”

But TackoMania is clearly not just a New England or Celtics thing. 

Everywhere the Celtics have played, Fall has become an instant fan favorite with chants of “We Want Tacko” beginning sometime around the latter stages of the first quarter or in the second, even though he has played primarily in the fourth quarter this preseason. 

While it’s still to be determined whether he will start or how many minutes he will play, there’s no question that the Red Claws have every intention of finding a way to utilize him on the floor, certainly more than he has been used by the Celtics in the preseason. 

“Development is such a huge part of what we do, making players better on and off the court,” said Austin Ainge, the Celtics’ director of player personnel. “And the G-League has now become an essential part of that.”

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