Celtics

NBA rumors: Kyrie Irving has been 'a driving force' in raising concerns over return plan

NBA rumors: Kyrie Irving has been 'a driving force' in raising concerns over return plan

NBA players' worries about the league's 2019-20 season restart plan are starting to surface.

The league announced its 22-team return plan/format earlier this month. All games played will take place at Walt Disney World Resort in the Orlando, Fla., area. 

Bleacher Report's Taylor Rooks reported that a video conference call with 150-plus players to discuss concerns about the plan is scheduled for Friday night. Howard Beck, also of Bleacher Report, added that Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving has been an integral part of these talks.


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Chris Haynes of Yahoo! Sports followed up on those reports Friday and tweeted Irving "has organized a call tonight for players to discuss what position they should take. He’s of mindset that during racial tension, not returning to play should be considered, sources say."

Earlier on Friday, Haynes published a story outlining some of the concerns held by players: 

The unease about relocating to a quarantined campus during the COVID-19 pandemic was already viewed as hazardous and unnecessary to many players. But because of the George Floyd tragedy and the powerful movement for racial justice that’s sweeping the nation, some players believe it’s bad optics for a league comprised predominantly of black men to be sequestered in one location for up to three months merely to entertain the masses and ease the league’s economic burden, sources said. 

The Nets are one of 22 teams (nine from the Eastern Conference) that will resume their season as part of the league's reboot, but Irving is unlikely to play for Brooklyn after undergoing shoulder surgery in early March. Irving is one of the NBA Players Association vice presidents, so even if he doesn't plan on playing when the season resumes, he still has a leadership role among the players.

The league reportedly expects training camps to begin July 9, with the first seeding games taking place July 30

There are still plenty of hurdles to overcome before games can start again, and addressing the concerns of the players should be a top priority for the league.

Celtics vs. Grizzlies live stream: Watch 2020 NBA seeding game online

Celtics vs. Grizzlies live stream: Watch 2020 NBA seeding game online

The Boston Celtics look to stay hot when they take on the Memphis Grizzlies inside the Orlando bubble Tuesday evening.

The C's are coming off dominant wins over the Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors, followed by a nail-biter of an overtime victory vs. the Orlando Magic. They'll aim to make things easier on themselves in their second-to-last regular season matchup.

Memphis currently holds the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. Following its loss to the Raptors on Sunday, there is guaranteed to be a play-in game between the No. 8 and 9 seeds in the West this Saturday.

As for the Celtics, they locked up the No. 3 seed on Friday.

Making Tuesday's game even more interesting is the Celtics own the rights to the Grizzlies' first-round pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, unless Memphis' pick lands in the top six. If Boston beats Memphis on Tuesday, the Grizzlies' odds to make the playoffs decrease, which could convey the Celtics a slightly better draft pick.

NBC Sports Boston has you covered with complete coverage of Celtics vs. Grizzlies, starting at 4 p.m. ET with "Celtics Pregame Live". Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. on NBC Sports Boston, with complete postgame analysis after the final buzzer on "Celtics Postgame Live."

HOW TO WATCH

ANALYSIS AND REACTION

BEFORE THE GAME: At 4 p.m., Celtics Pregame Live presented by TD Bank gets you ready for the game with reports from Mike Gorman, Brian Scalabrine, Kyle Draper, Kendrick Perkins, Abby Chin, Chris Forsberg and A. Sherrod Blakely. 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 Celtics Halftime Live. 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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Celtics' Tacko Fall shows off unique golf swing to Mo Bamba's amusement

Celtics' Tacko Fall shows off unique golf swing to Mo Bamba's amusement

If you've never seen a 7-foot-5 human being swing a golf club, you're in for a treat.

Boston Celtics big man Tacko Fall joined Orlando Magic center Mo Bamba -- who's "only" 7 feet tall -- on an Orlando-area golf course Monday, getting in on what's become a popular NBA bubble activity.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Grizzlies, which begins Tuesday at 4 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 5 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

So, how is Fall's golf game? Let's just say his swing is ... interesting. Here's a look, courtesy of Bamba's Instagram story:

That swing isn't quite Charles Barkley, but it certainly isn't Tiger Woods, either.

Judging by Bamba's reaction to Fall's second shot, though, it sounds like the Celtics rookie is improving.

If you're wondering why Fall was golfing with a Magic player and not his own teammates, he and Bamba are close friends, with Bamba even recommending his shooting coach, Drew Hanlen, to the C's center last summer.

Perhaps Bamba also knows a swing coach he can put Fall in touch with, too?