Celtics

NBA Rumors: Kyrie Irving 'maintained for months' he wants to play with Anthony Davis

NBA Rumors: Kyrie Irving 'maintained for months' he wants to play with Anthony Davis

The return of Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics has gone from possible to unlikely in recent days. The Celtics' confidence in bringing back Irving has eroded and will likely continue to do so after the Anthony Davis trade.

Davis was traded from the New Orleans Pelicans to the Los Angeles Lakers for a king's ransom on Saturday night. That will create a new super-team of sorts in L.A., as Davis and LeBron James will team up. However, the team is still looking for a third potential star, and Irving could be in play.

According to Sam Amick and David Aldridge of The Athletic, Irving is still in play for the Lakers. Aldridge, in particular, cited Irving's interest and said: "sources have maintained for months (Irving) wants to play with Davis." If that is, in fact, true, the Lakers would seemingly be an intriguing option for Irving, who has played with LeBron in Cleveland and wants to play with Davis.

Of course, Irving has also been tied heavily to the Brooklyn Nets in the past few weeks, and there have been reports that he may want to team up with Kevin Durant. Durant's Achilles injury may complicate that plan, though, so perhaps that could influence Irving to form a super team with the Lakers instead.

Either way, Irving being in play for the Lakers is a bad sign for the Celtics, as their best shot at retaining Irving would likely have stemmed from acquiring Davis. But, they reportedly didn't want to include Jayson Tatum in any deal given the uncertainty of Davis remaining after the season. Barring a change of heart, it seems that Irving is preparing to leave the C's once free agency rolls around.

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How Gordon Hayward helped ensure Kobe Bryant would score 60 in final game

How Gordon Hayward helped ensure Kobe Bryant would score 60 in final game

Kobe Bryant had one of the most iconic final games in NBA history.

With the Los Angeles Lakers well out of the playoff race in his last year, the team's final regular season game served as a send-off for Bryant. In the outing, Bryant dominated the game, took as many shots as he wanted, and ultimately scored 60 points to cap off a comeback win over the Utah Jazz.

It was a great way to end an amazing career.

And believe it or not, Gordon Hayward actually played a part in ensuring that Bryant would be guaranteed to get 60 points late in that game.

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As Mike Tirico detailed on a recent episode of The Ringer's Ryen Russilo Podcast, Hayward, then playing for the Jazz, actually made a key move late in the contest that few people remember. Hayward intentionally committed a lane violation on Bryant's final free throw just to give him a chance to to get to 60 in case he missed it.

And to Tirico, that decision stands out and makes him "a fan of [Hayward's] for life."

That, to me, was the most unique example I could give to people of the fraternity of the NBA. And the reverence for greatness in the NBA is at a different level that any of the other sports that we watch or cover.

He had the complete wherewithal at 59 to just put a foot in the lane and look over at the ref just in case Kobe missed it to make sure he got another shot at 60.

That is just one of those things that nobody ever remembers, that very few people see, but every time I see Gordon Hayward, I think of that. I'm like, 'You know what, dude, you get it. You get it at a level that other people don't and I'm a fan of yours for life for that.

That is pretty incredible. And it does demonstrate just how good of a teammate and person Hayward is, even though the move was inconsequential as Bryant nailed the free throw.

Of course, this moment is even more poignant after Bryant's tragic passing. Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, were among the nine people killed in a helicopter crash on Sunday afternoon.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Heat, which begins Tuesday at 7 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live. You can also stream it on the MyTeams App.

Celtics vs. Heat start time changed to 8 p.m. ET after Lakers vs. Clippers postponed

Celtics vs. Heat start time changed to 8 p.m. ET after Lakers vs. Clippers postponed

The Boston Celtics were originally scheduled to take on the Miami Heat starting at 7:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday night.

However, the time of the game has changed in the wake of the NBA's decision to postpone the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Los Angeles Clippers game.

The battle for L.A. was originally scheduled to take place at 10:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday and would air after the conclusion of Celtics-Heat on TNT. But with the former game no longer being played in the aftermath of Kobe Bryant's death, TNT has elected to move back the start of the Celtics game into the 8 p.m. ET window.

The Celtics will enter Tuesday night's game with a record of 30-15 while the Heat sit at 31-14, pending the result of their Monday night game against the Orlando Magic.

Pregame coverage of the contest will begin on NBC Sports Boston at 7 p.m. ET with Celtics Pregame Live.