That 617 Life Podcast: Why NBA load management is out of control

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That 617 Life Podcast: Why NBA load management is out of control

Load management has been sweeping across the NBA over the course of the past few seasons.

And it's safe to say that Cerrone Battle is not a fan of this practice.

On the latest episode of That 617 Life Podcast, Battle discussed the practice of load management. And his conclusion? It's not fair to the fans and it devalues the NBA's regular season.

One contributing factor to the increase in load management, as Battle sees it? Players simply don't care about the regular season as much. So long as they're making the playoffs, they're fine with their regular-season performance.

I don't know if the players don't care about the regular season as much -- it's pretty obvious they don't. They don't care as much -- but yet we as fans are like, man they need to -- and articles about the Celtics are like 'They've got to turn things around. The Celtics gotta get better. They gotta do this or that.'

That game they lost against Brooklyn, Gordon Hayward didn't even come out in the second half. Jaylen Brown didn't play the fourth quarter. In fact, most of the starters didn't play the fourth quarter. It was Kemba's first game back. They get to overtime on a dumb foul by Smart and they throw out Romeo Langford, Edwards, Williams, Wanamaker, Semi. They had no intention of winning that game. They didn't really care.

And you're seeing this across the league. A lot of teams are taking time off, taking days off, taking games off. You know, look at the Clippers. I think Paul George missed like 27 games. Kawhi's missing a bunch of games. Lou Williams, he's in, he's out. Reggie Jackson, he just got there and he's in, he's out. This is the league, unfortunately.

Battle does have a point that load management can get frustrating. Of course, some injuries aren't preventable, but the practice of sitting relatively healthy players consistently certainly isn't good news for the NBA.

Perhaps it would simply make more sense to shorten the NBA season at this point if teams aren't going to have their full complement of players available each night. But it's unlikely that the league would want to sacrifice any game revenue, as they are still profiting even when star players aren't in action.

To hear more of Battle's thoughts on load management as well as discussions with Leroy Irvin and Shanda Foster about Mike Tyson and Tom Brady, you can click here to listen and subscribe to That 617 Life Podcast.

That 617 Life Podcast: Reaction to Marc Spears' article on being a black player in Boston

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That 617 Life Podcast: Reaction to Marc Spears' article on being a black player in Boston

Marc Spears of The Undefeated recently penned an article about the city of Boston's complicated history with race from a (mostly) basketball perspective.

Spears details stories from Bill Russell, Marcus Smart and Dee Brown, among others, sharing some of the encounters they had while playing in Boston for the Celtics.

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

On the latest episode of the That 617 Life Podcast, Leroy Irvin, Cerrone Battle and Shanda Foster discussed the issues the article brought up and had an open forum about race and the city.

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The co-hosts all seemed to agree that Boston was evolving, as Spears communicated at the end of his article. To Foster's point, the city has "gotten better" in terms of racism. But she also noted that having honest conversations about the city's current and past issues with racism is still important.

I think it's gotten better and I hope that the media continues to shed a little bit more light, and us as people who live here are able to just speak to it and be honest. Because you know what? They're not wrong. They're not wrong.

Battle agreed with Foster's point and mentioned that increased representation of people of color in the media is starting to shift how race relations are covered, and how people are becoming more comfortable with the topic of race.

I think one of the things that's happening recently, and you mentioned the media, a lot of the changes in around the city whether it be local news or regional news, you're seeing more minorities. You're seeing more minorities not just on air, but behind the production. Behind the content. And you don't have the people speaking on our behalf. You have us speaking for us. I know it might seem small, but when you see people who may look more like you on TV more, or people who are used to seeing black faces on TV, the more you see it, the more comfortable you are.

Battle also pointed to shifting demographics in Boston's neighborhoods as another way that people are "getting more comfortable."

Boston's always claimed of being so diverse. 'Oh my god, we're one of the most diverse cities in the world!' Yet it was still very segregated. But the more people are spilling into other neighborhoods, some by choice and some not by choice, the more people are starting to get comfortable with it.

For more of That 617 Life Podcast's discussion on race and what numbers the Celtics should retire ahead of Ray Allen's, you can click here to listen and subscribe to That 617 Life Podcast.

That 617 Life Podcast: Is Jayson Tatum already a superstar?

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That 617 Life Podcast: Is Jayson Tatum already a superstar?

Over the course of the past month, Jayson Tatum has been putting up big-time numbers for the Boston Celtics. He has averaged 28.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.3 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game over his last 10 outings for the C's and has done a lot to back up his All-Star status.

As Tatum continues to improve, it's becoming increasingly clear that he is one of the most talented young players in the league. But there are a couple of questions gnawing at the minds of many NBA fans.

Is Tatum actually a superstar? Or is he merely on the path toward being one and showcasing that upside in this prolonged and productive stretch?

LIVE stream the Celtics all season and get the latest news and analysis on all of your teams from NBC Sports Boston by downloading the My Teams App.

On the latest episode of That 617 Life Podcast, hosts Leroy Irvin and Cerrone Battle took a deep dive into those important questions and offered their thoughts on Tatum.

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Battle, for one, was ready to call Tatum a superstar and stated that his performance against LeBron James and the Lakers helped to further put him on the map.

I think Jayson Tatum is getting to that level. I think he's already there. And what it takes too -- he done already lit up Giannis. He lit up Kawhi. And he lit up LeBron James. Who else is he supposed to catch? He got Kawhi, the All-Star game, and LeBron James all in a week and a half. People are seeing it and it's like, this dude he is a superstar. And [being a] superstar, it's not about your game. It's how people perceive you. Are you box office? Do people turn on the TV and say 'What's Tatum doing tonight?' That's a superstar.

And Battle actually went even further and spoke of Tatum's ceiling. He said that the 21-year-old Celtics star could have a chance to develop into a Kevin Durant-type player.

I think the ceiling for him -- I know people are going to kill me for this, but I think the ceiling for him is Kevin Durant. I think he's on that same path. Their style of play is the same.

Battle would go on to say that he believes Durant is the best player in the NBA, so needless to say, comparing Tatum to him is a massive compliment.

For more on Tatum's rise to superstardom and where he ranks among the NBA's best, you can click here to listen and subscribe to That 617 Life Podcast.

Don't miss NBC Sports Boston's coverage of Celtics-Trail Blazers, which begins Tuesday at 9 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live followed by tip-off at 10 p.m. You can also stream on the MyTeams App.