Celtics

Kyrie Irving was mulling Celtics exit in December, Spencer Dinwiddie says

Kyrie Irving was mulling Celtics exit in December, Spencer Dinwiddie says

In early October 2018, Kyrie Irving stood in front of a TD Garden crowd and said he planned on re-signing with the Boston Celtics the following offseason.

Two months later, he already was plotting a move elsewhere.

That's according to Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie, who told The Athletic's Shams Charania that Irving contacted him in December about the possibility of playing in New York for the Knicks or Nets.

"The first time he reached out was maybe like December, in terms of loosely talking about it, because he was still focused on his season and everything," Dinwiddie said.

Dinwiddie had befriended Irving in September when the two attended a Harvard Business School course together. And when Irving contacted him, the Nets guard got the sense he may be open to leaving Boston.

"You could just tell from the conversation that it was a little bit different," Dinwiddie said. "... Actually, it definitely was December because he made a comment to me, he was like, 'New York might be real fun next year,' because I hadn't signed yet. ... That's when I was first tipped off to the whole thing."

Dinwiddie had yet to sign his contract extension with Brooklyn at the time, but after landing the deal on Dec. 13, he embarked on a campaign to convince Irving and Kevin Durant to come to the Nets instead of joining the Knicks.

The 26-year-old said he spoke to Irving "a ton" about Brooklyn's style of play, a family-oriented organizational mindset under general manager Sean Marks and a top-notch training staff.

"Of course I'm going to be like, 'Bro, it's perfect for you,' " Dinwiddie added. " ' And (head coach) Kenny (Atkinson) gonna let you rock.' "

Irving apparently managed to keep his intentions from the Celtics for a few more months, as president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said he didn't get the sense his point guard was leaving until March or April.

But Dinwiddie's revelation is proof that Irving either soured on the C's very quickly or was simply being disingenuous in October.

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NBA Rumors: GMs in favor of play-in tournament when season resumes

NBA Rumors: GMs in favor of play-in tournament when season resumes

On Thursday, the NBA took another step toward figuring out the best way to return to action.

Commissioner Adam Silver held a conference call with the league's general managers to review a survey that was delivered to teams last week. In the survey, GMs voted on potential formats to resume play.

Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer reports about 75 percent of GMs were in favor of a play-in tournament between bubble teams rather than a World Cup-style group stage. Front-running teams such as the Los Angeles Lakers and Milwaukee Bucks favored the play-in tourney as it would give them a far easier path to the NBA Finals.

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More from O'Connor:

General managers were surveyed about a 'playoffs-plus' format—either a play-in tournament between the bubble teams to determine the final seeds in the playoffs, or a World Cup–style group stage, which would replace the end of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs with a round-robin format. About 75 percent of teams voted in favor of a play-in tournament, sources said, while 25 percent of teams voted in favor of the group stage.

Although many GMs are in favor of the play-in tournament, that doesn't mean the league will go in that direction.

“Adam [Silver] isn’t taking the results seriously,” a team executive told O'Connor. “Every team is obviously gonna vote for what’s best for them.”

Still, it's a noteworthy development and one that could not only impact how the NBA proceeds with its 2019-20 campaign, but also how it approaches future playoff formats.

For more details from O'Connor, check out his full article here.

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Celtics At Home: Daniel Theis recalls experience playing games without fans

Celtics At Home: Daniel Theis recalls experience playing games without fans

The Boston Celtics hosting a playoff game in an empty arena would be a bizarre experience.

Take it from the guy who's played in front of empty arenas.

Celtics big man Daniel Theis played several years of professional basketball in his native Germany before joining the C's in 2017. On the latest episode of NBC Sports Boston's "Celtics At Home," Theis explained that preseason games often didn't have fans, which created an atmosphere he didn't exactly enjoy.

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"It's definitely weird just thinking about it," Theis told host Brian Scalabrine. "Thinking back for me, playing in Germany in preseason games when you have scrimmages and no fans in there. You hear every voice, every word, every step. It's annoying."

Games without fans could be the NBA's new reality as it aims to safely resume play amid the coronavirus pandemic. Germany's top soccer league, the Bundesliga -- which Theis has been following intently -- is already playing games in empty arenas.

But while Theis wants to get back on the court, he doesn't sound thrilled about playing games without fans again -- especially if that means losing the home-crowd advantage that Boston provides.

"When I watched the soccer games this weekend, it was just -- it didn't feel right," Theis said. "Especially in Boston, when it comes to the playoffs and the fans at TD Garden are so important and so loud ... Then I can imagine now just playing a playoff game with nobody in there, it feels probably like a practice game or scrimmage."

Theis also discussed some of the Celtics' best Zoom guest speakers during Episode Three of "Celtics At Home," which includes guest appearances from C's legends Tommy Heinsohn and Bill Walton.

Check out the full episode of "Celtics At Home" below or on our YouTube page: