NCAA

KG welcomes rookies to Celtics with nicknames

KG welcomes rookies to Celtics with nicknames

WALTHAM, Mass. (AP) Jared Sullinger is ``Sully.''

Dionte Christmas is ``Temple,'' because that's where he went to college.

And Kevin Garnett calls Fab Melo is ``Melo'' because ``I don't like really calling a man `Fab.'''

The Boston Celtics rookies are getting nicknames, compliments of the man himself known as ``KG'' and ``The Big Ticket.'' Garnett went out of his way on Friday to make it clear that he's doing it to be affectionate and not because, like many veterans throughout basketball and other sports, he can't be troubled to learn their real names.

``My personal connection is a nickname. I'm not disrespecting people by not knowing their names,'' Garnett said. ``Some people don't even talk to rookies.''

The Celtics are still loaded with aging veterans, relying heavily on Garnett and Paul Pierce along with new additions Jason Terry and Jason Collins. But the leadership in the process of passing to 26-year-old point guard Rajon Rondo, and this year's crop of rookies could be the most productive since 2004, when Doc Rivers was himself in his first year with the team.

Sullinger and Melo were first-round draft picks, with Kris Joseph coming in the second round. (Garnett calls Joseph ``Shawn,'' Christmas said, ``because he reminds him of someone named Shawn.'')

``Most of the time, it's just `Young'un,''' Sullinger said. ``Knowing that he's an NBA dinosaur, you've got to understand that being a `young'un' is a good thing.''

Christmas was a 2009 draft choice of the Philadelphia 76ers who played in Europe the past three seasons and would be happy to be called anything by Garnett or any of the Celtics once the final roster cuts are made. ``For him to recognize me, for him to put an interest in me as a teammate, it's definitely humbling,'' Christmas said.

Sullinger is also enjoying his time with his new mentor. Garnett has been running a sort of big-man camp within training camp, coach Doc Rivers said, and the 2004 NBA MVP has been passing along what he knows to Sullinger and Collins as well as returnees Chris Wilcox and Brandon Bass.

``I'm a big fan of veterans ... teaching some of the young guys on work ethics, earning what you get, not just riding off potential,'' Garnett said. ``I've always been a big fan of veterans'' doing that.

The Celtics returned this week from exhibitions in Milan and Istanbul and will meet the New York Knicks on Saturday night in Hartford, Conn. - their first practice game against NBA opponents.

Sullinger is trying to soak it all up.

``Being a rookie, you always have to pay homage to the veterans,'' he said. ``You come in, you've got to have a closed mouth and you play basketball.''

James Madison at Delaware College Basketball: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

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James Madison at Delaware College Basketball: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Winners of two straight, James Madison will hope to continue its victorious run against rival Delaware. 

The Blue Hens, meanwhile, have won four of their first six conference games and will be looking to keep pace in the competitive CAA when they host the Dukes at Bob Carpenter Center in Newark, Del. on Thursday, Jan. 17.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m ET and will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington Plus.

James Madison at Delaware How to Watch

What: James Madison Dukes at Delaware Blue Hens
Where: Bob Carpenter Center, Newark, Del. 
When: 7 p.m. ET
TV Channel: NBC Sports Washington Plus (Channel Finder)

James Madison at Delaware Preview

Conference: Colonial Athletic Association
Record: James Madison (9-9, 2-3)  Delaware (12-7, 4-2)
Last Game: 74-65 win vs. Towson 1/12 (James Madison), 71-58 loss at College of Charleston, 1/12 (Delaware)
Leading Scorers: Stuckey Mosley, 15.7 ppg (James Madison), Eric Carter, 17.3 ppg (Delaware)

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Wizards vs. Knicks: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Wizards vs. Knicks: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Wizards have traveled across the pond and will take on the New York Knicks in London, England Thursday (3 pm, NBC Sports Washington) as part of the NBA Global Games slate. 

Washington has brought some momentum with it on its journey to the United Kingdom, the Wizards winning five of their last eight. 

The Knicks, meanwhile, have lost three straight, and are just a game and a half above the basement-dwelling Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference standings.

Here's is what you need to know for Thursday's game.

WIZARDS vs. KNICKS HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Wizards vs. New York Knicks, Game 45 of the 2018-19 NBA season
Where: The 02 Arena, London, England
When: 3:00 p.m. ET
TV Channel: The Wizards vs. Knicks will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)
Live Stream: You can live stream Wizards vs. Knicks on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and on the new MyTeams App.
Radio: Wizards Radio Network, 1500 AM

WIZARDS vs. KNICKS TV SCHEDULE

2:00 PM: Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)
2:30 PM: Wizards Pregame Live (LIVE)
3:00 PM: New York Knicks @ Wizards (LIVE)
5:30 PM: Wizards Postgame Live (LIVE)
6:00 PM:Wizards Outsiders (LIVE)

WIZARDS vs. KNICKS INJURY REPORT:

Wizards: Dwight Howard (Back, Out), Markieff Morris (Neck, Out), John Wall (Heel, Out)
Knicks: Tim Hardaway Jr. (Hamstring, Day-to-day), Mitchell Robinson (Ankle, Day-to-day), Enes Kanter (Personal reasons, Out), Kristaps Porzingis (Knee, Out)

WIZARDS vs. KNICKS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Bradley Beal, Wizards: With John Wall out for the season, Beal has played like a true superstar, averaging almost 30 points per contest in his last eight games. Can he put on a show for the London crowd Thursday? 
Emmanuel Mudiay, Knicks: Mudiay has been a bright spot for the Knicks during a troublesome season. The 22-year old is scoring a career-high 14.5 points per game, second on the team only to Tim Hardaway Jr.'s 19.8.

WIZARDS vs. KNICKS SERIES HISTORY

Number of all-time Meetings: 335 games (36 playoff games)
Regular Season Record: Knicks lead 169-130
Playoff Record: Knicks lead 23-13
Last Meeting: Wizards win 110-107 on 12/3/18
Last 10: Wizards lead 9-1

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