Celtics

Was Danny Ainge praising Celtics rookies? Or tossing shade on Kyrie Irving?

Was Danny Ainge praising Celtics rookies? Or tossing shade on Kyrie Irving?

BOSTON -- Praise for the newest members of the Boston Celtics family or shade thrown the way of (likely ex-Celtic) Kyrie Irving? 

With Danny Ainge, the Celtics’ president of basketball operations, you never really know which bucket his most recent comments fall in. 

“I think it just makes life more enjoyable when everybody is humble, hard-working and will play any role they have to to help the team succeed, " Ainge said. "You do have to have a certain amount of talent to win as we all know, but good people makes coming to work more fun."

It was telling that among the first comments made by Celtics draft pick Grant Williams, was wanting to do whatever was needed in order to bring another banner to Boston. 

And as you listened to the rest of the rookies introduced to the media on Monday, it was pretty clear that there was an undeniable "team-before-me" theme running throughout. 

But was that them being themselves, or were those talking points that they had heard a time or two from the Celtics in their short time with the team? 

Probably a little bit of both. 

Not only is it likely to be a theme we hear more of this year, but you can bet Celtics brass are pushing it harder than usual because they are coming off a season in which individual agendas and egos came before the team in the way a number of players handled themselves and just as important, the roles they were cast to play last season.

Nowhere was this more problematic than with Irving, who was treated like the leader of the team. And like so many of his teammates, he didn't do nearly as good a job as the team needed him to do in that role. 

That led to both individual and team struggles, the kind this group were never able to bounce back from. 

The end result was a season of unfulfillment, one ending in the second round of the playoffs. 

And as part of the moving-on process, Ainge and company have to do their part to best ensure we won't see a repeat of last season. 

With Irving likely bound for Brooklyn, his departure is a start. 

But acknowledging what went wrong last year while juxtaposing that with this fresh, eager-to-get-going group, is another step in this franchise re-establishing an identity that has more to do with being selfless than selfish. And so, while some may view Ainge's comments as a barb towards Irving, it was really more of a dig at that entire team from last year. 

Because the comments made by Ainge — while many could be applicable to Irving — there were other Celtics whose play on the floor and actions behind the scenes, were also contributing factors to what was an underwhelming season here in Boston. 

Ainge's comments more than anything else, serve as a reminder of what this team should be about, win or lose. 

They lost sight of those values last season, blinded by the hype and hoopla of what being a bona fide title contender — on paper at least — was about. 

It appears they have a better sense of who they need to be going forward; a franchise that has to remain hard-working and humble, guys who want to help the next man more than wanting to be the man. That has been at the crux of what this team has maintained for years as a central part of their foundation. 

Last year, they clearly lost their way only to what appears to be, them beginning the journey to get back to being that team. 

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Celtics join FaceApp craze with hilarious photos of 'old' players

Celtics join FaceApp craze with hilarious photos of 'old' players

Who needs Uncle Drew, anyway?

If you're on social media, then your feed most likely has been filled with hilarious (and kind of disturbing) FaceApp photos of aged celebrities and athletes. The Celtics decided to get in on the action by using the "old age" filter on a few C's players, and well, here were the results. . .

Jaylen Brown's photo was so good that Jayson Tatum couldn't help but send it along to his 22-year-old teammate.

Of course, we had to properly celebrate #TackoTuesday with a FaceApp photo of our own:

And lastly, just in case you were wondering how Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will look in roughly 30 years from now, it appears he'll resemble... Brett Favre?

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Anthony Davis gives interesting answer to question on his Lakers future

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USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Davis gives interesting answer to question on his Lakers future

Newly acquired Los Angeles Lakers superstar Anthony Davis might end up playing for the Purple and Gold a long time, but so far he hasn't been willing to publicly proclaim he will re-sign with the historic franchise when NBA free agency 2020 rolls around.

Davis was asked during his introductory press conference last Saturday about being ready to commit to the Lakers long term, and his answer was interesting.

"I'm focused on this season," Davis told reporters, via the Washington Post's Ben Golliver. "When I got traded here, my goal was to bring a championship here with the team that we have. When that time comes around next year, you can ask me that question and we can revisit it. Right now, my focus is on this year and figuring out how I can help this team and help this organization become a championhip team."

Davis basically took the opposite approach Kyrie Irving did last fall. Irving famously told Boston Celtics season ticket holders before the 2018-19 season that he planned to re-sign with the team. Maybe Irving really meant it at the time, but after a disappointing season for the Celtics highlighted by the superstar point guard's leadership struggles, he bolted for the Brooklyn Nets in free agency earlier this month.

Davis has a $28,751,775 million player option for the 2020-21 season, and it's hard to envision him, or any player, exercising that option when a long-term max contract almost certainly would be available.

The list of the top free agents in the summer of 2020 goes downhill really quick. Davis clearly is the best player who could be available. The gap between him and the second-best player, Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, is enormous. If Davis ever made it known he was open to considering other teams in free agency, the list of interested suitors likely would be a lengthy one. After all, he's arguably a top-five player in the league and will be just 27 years old next summer.

It wouldn't be surprising if Davis eventually re-signs with the Lakers, but there's absolutely no reason for him to commit, especially publicly, to L.A. before playing any games alongside LeBron James.

Click here for a list of the best NBA free agents in 2020>>>

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