Celtics

Sights and sounds from Celtics' first practice in Las Vegas

Sights and sounds from Celtics' first practice in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS -- There’s a chance that Celtics first-round pick Romeo Langford won’t play a single game in summer league as his right thumb continues to heal. 

Still, he’ll be the first to tell you that there’s still value in him being with the team as they gear up for their first summer league game on Saturday against Philadelphia. 

Langford will be on the bench, soaking in the teachings of the coaching staff while visualizing what he would do in various situations when his opportunity to play comes around. 

“It’s going to be a learning experience; definitely,” Langford said.

It’s still early but Langford has already learned a valuable lesson that most young players don’t get to experience, and that’s how to maximize time away from the court. 

Langford has made improving his perimeter shot a priority, which is in part why he has done some drills with a ping-pong paddle attached to his hand. 

“It’s different, for sure,” Langford said. “It’s really going to help me in the long run.”

And that in many ways sums up the approach taken by the Celtics with Langford. 

Selected with the 14th overall pick last month in the draft, Boston is in no hurry to get Langford on the floor as long as his thumb is less than fully healthy. 

Langford finds himself having to rely on being patient, waiting eagerly for his chance, which may or may not happen during summer league. 

“I’m guessing the plan is to kind of take it slow with him,” said Celtics assistant coach Scott Morrison who is coaching Boston’s summer league team. “To make sure he’s as strong as he can be by the time … it wouldn’t be worth re-injuring for two games in summer league.” 

ROBERT WILLIAMS HAS LOST WEIGHT, NOT HIS SENSE OF HUMOR
The offseason has been one in which Robert Williams has put in his time working on improving his conditioning. 

One of the byproducts of that hard work has been Williams reporting to summer league looking a lot leaner. 

He says he has only lost six pounds, adding that the lost weight won’t have any impact on his play on the court. 

“I’m still a problem,” quipped Williams. 

FAMILY TRADITION
Kendrick Ray is among the Celtics players on the summer league roster who would love to stick with the team. 

But to do so would have additional meaning for Ray, whose older brother, Allen Ray, played one season (2006-07) for the Celtics. He appeared in 47 games (five starts) and averaged 6.2 points and 1.5 rebounds per game. 

“That would be big for me,” Kendrick Ray said before adding, “any NBA roster is big. But you know, being as my brother played for the Celtics it would be big for me too.”

Kendrick Ray, 25, went undrafted in 2017 out of Kennesaw State, but has been a standout overseas, leading Cez Nymburk to the Czech League championship in 2018 while being named the league's MVP. 

GRANT WILLIAMS' VERSATILITY
Grant Williams plays a number of different roles. You can add one - sort of - to the list following the Celtics’ practice in Las Vegas on Friday. 

Langford was being interviewed by NBC Sports Boston when Williams was given a microphone by Celtics.com and began to gather sound from his teammate. 

Langford was jokingly asked how many times he was going to dunk on Williams this year. 

“It’s going to be about … I don’t have enough fingers,” quipped Langford. 

And that brought about a response from Williams.

“Never been good at math, have you?” he said to Langford, bringing a smile to both players' faces.  

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The Enes Kanter Show: Awesome story about Kevin Garnett's Celtics arrival

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NBC Sports Boston Illustration

The Enes Kanter Show: Awesome story about Kevin Garnett's Celtics arrival

Everyone has a great Kevin Garnett story. And Enes Kanter's pretty much sums up how intensely committed KG was to winning.

The Boston Celtics forward recently ran into Garnett in Boston at the regional premiere of "Uncut Gems," a new movie Garnett stars in with Adam Sandler.

According to Kanter, Celtics lead owner Wyc Grousbeck also was at the premiere and told Kanter of the first time Garnett walked into TD Garden after being traded from the Minnesota Timberwolves to the Celtics in the summer of 2007.

Here's Kanter with NBC Sports Boston's Chris Forsberg on the latest episode of "The Enes Kanter Show:"

(Grousbeck) told me a story. He said, "When KG came to the Celtics, he stopped and looked at every (championship) banner for 30 minutes. For 30 minutes. And he studied (them). ... Before he came (to Boston), we had 16 banners. So, that's 30 minutes for every banner. And it's like, 'How do you spend that much (time)?' 

As Forsberg pointed out, that's essentially eight hours of Garnett staring at the TD Garden rafters and soaking in the franchise's rich history.

That may have been some hyperbole on Grousbeck's part, but if anyone would be that maniacally focused on success, it's the uber-competitive Garnett.

"Anybody else, I would be like, 'That's an exaggerated tale,' " Forsberg said, "but I can actually believe that with KG."

Garnett's commitment to winning paid off instantly, as the Celtics raised banner No. 17 to the rafters in his first season with the team in 2007-08.

Kanter and Forsberg also discussed what makes Garnett such a great trash talker, how his current minutes situation differs from his time with the New York Knicks, what the Celtics' chemistry is like on this team and much more.

Hear more from Kanter and Forsberg on Episode 5 of "The Enes Kanter Show," which drops every Wednesday on YouTube and the NBC Sports Boston podcast network.

 

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Pacers, which tips off Wednesday at 6 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call at 7 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.

Celtics Talk Podcast: How will ex-Celtics' big man Al Horford be received in return to Boston with 76ers?

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NBC Sports Boston Illlustration

Celtics Talk Podcast: How will ex-Celtics' big man Al Horford be received in return to Boston with 76ers?

Al Horford makes his return to TD Garden Thursday night in a Philadelphia 76ers uniform. How will the former Celtics big man be received now that's he joined one of Boston's key rivals in the East?

That's just one of the many storylines ahead of Philly's first game in Boston and the first meeting for the teams since the Sixers easily defeated the Celtics back on opening night in late October. 

Kyle Draper and Chris Forsberg talk about it in the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast. 

"It should be all love," said Draper, "but let's keep it real: The way Horford went about it, some people aren't happy about it. It sounds like him and the Sixers had some kind agreement before you're allowed to actually talk. I get the sense that they [the Celtics] were caught off guard a little bit."

LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE HERE:

Earlier in the podcast, Forsberg is joined by Sixers reporter Serena Winters from NBC Sports Philly to talk about all things 76ers, including Ben Simmons, Horford's veteran influence on the team and where Boston and Philadelphia are now as compared to the opener. 

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Pacers, which tips off Wednesday at 6 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live, and then Mike & Scal have the call at 7 p.m. You can also stream the game on the MyTeams App.