With any luck, you’ve seen the TV commercial by now, because it’s pretty cool. The Nike spot shows Kyrie Irving and his father, Drederick, a former Boston University star, playing one-on-one in an otherwise empty TD Garden.
The ad closes with a line that won’t please opposing GM’s who are holding out hope Kyrie reverses course and makes himself available to other teams as a free agent next summer.
“He’s the reason I wear No. 11,” Kyrie says of his father, who donned it at BU. Then as a camera shoots downward from the Garden rafters, capturing the darkened banners presumably containing retired numbers, he adds, “I want to be the reason no one else will.”
Overall, the spot is a great tribute to his dad, who raised Kyrie and his sister after their mom passed away when Kyrie was 4.
“He’s been a great influence in my life,” Irving told reporters. “I mean, he’s my father and more or less my best friend. So for Nike to afford us the opportunity, for them to capture our relationship kind of in a minute video, it was pretty awesome.”
He laughed when asked how many takes were required before he scored on Dred.
“It didn’t take long,” Kyrie said. “It didn’t take long.”
It appears to be open season on Jaylen Brown in some corners of social media. The third-year wing certainly hasn’t played up to the standards he set last year, and fans’ take on him was further soured when his back injury led to Marcus Smart starting in Monday’s win over New Orleans.
Brown, however, isn’t fretting over the opinions of writers or broadcasters or Twitter mavens.
“Nothing bugs me,” he said. “The media is a part of life. It can be good, it can be bad. It is what it is at this point.
“The internet is undefeated, whether you like it or whether you don’t like it. So I actually love the internet. I love the media. I’m a big fan of technology, even if it’s against me or whatever.
“It is what it is. It’s life. I don’t get too caught up into the media, and we shouldn’t either,” he said of the Celts.
Watching Mr. Carter
The Celtics had some interesting things to say about Vince Carter, who’s still finding ways to play well and contribute as he approaches his 42nd birthday next month. Now with the Hawks, a team in serious rebuilding mode, Carter has had to change his job description — and that’s what seems to impress the C’s most.
Said Irving of what he sees in Carter, “I think the humility that he’s shown to be able to be part of a situation like this where they have good young players but they also need development and leadership, and he’s right there enjoying the season as if it was his first — just going out there, playing basketball, doing what he loves every single day and helping out young guys. So it’s very commendable because at this point in his career he can make any decision he wants and nobody would have a problem with it. I’m just really happy for a guy like that that he’s able to still find joy in the game and will his body to play every single night.”
Added Al Horford, “He’s managed to figure out how to go from being a superstar to just being a starter, (and then) coming off the bench, just different roles, different things like that, his adjustment. He’s obviously very professional. That’s been the most impressive part to me, how he’s been able to keep his body like he has.
“I think it shows his humility,” Horford went on. “You know, you have to have that, and you have to be willing. I think that a lot of times you’re a certain player and you’re known for a certain thing, and you kind of hold yourself to that and anything less you don’t want to accept or do. I believe that Vince, that’s what’s made him so special. It’s his ability to understand that he can still have an impact on the game even if he’s not being talked about, even if he’s not the main guy. That and the combination that baffles me of just how healthy he is and looks and still dunking the ball and doing things like that. He was a dunker. Everybody knows that. And the fact that he’s transitioned his game and does a little bit of everything, it’s impressive.”
Thursday vs. New York, 8 p.m. — This one has revenge game written all over it. The Celtics were hooted into the holiday by their home crowd with a Thanksgiving Eve wire-to-wire 117-109 loss to the Knicks in which they trailed by as many as 26 points. Brad Stevens had some of his harshest comments afterward, and those thoughts were echoed in the Celtic dressing room. It was an all-around ugly night for the C’s, who shot 39.2 percent from the floor while allowing New York to hit half its 30 3-pointers. Trey Burke’s 29 points are probably still running on a loop in their nightmares. So put it this way, if the Celts don’t come out of here with a win in this nationally televised game, the Garden roof and all the banners may collapse on them.
Saturday at Chicago, 8 p.m. — The Bulls have been fighting it out with Atlanta and Cleveland for worst record in the Eastern Conference, a battle that was helped by their 111-82 thrashing in the Garden two and a half weeks ago. But Chicago has been badly undermanned due to key injuries to Lauri Markkanen, Bobby Portis, Denzel Valentine and others. And if some are back and the Celts aren’t prepared for a better fight this time, they could get unpleasantly surprised in this one.