Celtics’ Kemba Walker Down To Get Wild With Revamped NBA Playoff Format — NESN.com

It sounds like Kemba Walker just wants to play. It’s unclear when the NBA season will resume, but several team and league officials told SI.com that any chance of a traditional postseason is out, suggesting this year’s path to the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy could get weird. NBC Sports Boston recently floated the idea of…

Celtics’ Kemba Walker Down To Get Wild With Revamped NBA Playoff Format — NESN.com

t sounds like Kemba Walker just wants to play. It’s unclear when the NBA season will resume, but several team and league officials told SI.com that any chance of a traditional postseason is out, suggesting this year’s path to the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy could get weird.

NBC Sports Boston recently floated the idea of a single-elimination playoff format — a la the NCAA Tournament — to Walker, and the Celtics point guard acknowledged he’s open to such a change.

“I guess I wouldn’t mind it,” Walker said. “I love to hoop. At this point it doesn’t really matter because of the way things went and suddenly the season just got postponed.”

The NBA suspended its season indefinitely on March 11 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. Several other players since have tested positive, including Celtics guard Marcus Smart, and a dark cloud of uncertainty continues to hang over the entire sports landscape as the world fights the coronavirus pandemic.

But sports will return at some point, and the hope is the NBA will be able to salvage its 2019-20 campaign, even if that requires radical changes to the usual postseason format. If nothing else, a one-and-done tourney sure would be entertaining, and Walker already knows a thing or two about thriving under such conditions, having won a national championship with UConn in 2011.

“It would be fun,” Walker told NBC Sports Boston. “It would be different.”

The Celtics (43-21) currently sit in third place in the Eastern Conference, trailing just the Milwaukee Bucks (53-12) and Toronto Raptors (46-18). All three teams have clinched playoff spots. Walker, an All-Star in his first season with the Celtics, also told NBC Sports Boston he’s “doing well” with his lingering knee issue during the current sports pause. More Celtics: How C’s Staff Prepares For NBA

Read more at: https://nesn.com/2020/04/celtics-kemba-walker-down-to-get-wild-with-revamped-nba-playoff-format/

Al Horford Donates $500K For Coronavirus Relief Everywhere He’s Played — NESN.com

Philadelphia 76ers center Al Horford reportedly is the latest professional athlete to pitch in for coronavirus relief, and he’s spreading his generosity all over, including Boston. According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the former Celtics center is donating $500 thousand to fight the pandemic in his native Dominican Republic, along with every region in which…

Al Horford Donates $500K For Coronavirus Relief Everywhere He’s Played — NESN.com

Philadelphia 76ers center Al Horford reportedly is the latest professional athlete to pitch in for coronavirus relief, and he’s spreading his generosity all over, including Boston.

According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the former Celtics center is donating $500 thousand to fight the pandemic in his native Dominican Republic, along with every region in which he has played basketball.

Those places include Michigan where he played in high school, his college town of Gainsville, Fla., and his NBA stops in Atlanta, Boston and Philadelphia. Horford is one of the many athletes to help out amid concerns of the outbreak, with Kevin Love among the participants, and teams and entire leagues have stepped up as well.

Thursday it was also reported that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft bought and helped transport protective N95 masks to the United States using the team plane, and former Patriots tight end Rob Grownkowski donated masks to Boston Medical Center.

Read more at: https://nesn.com/2020/04/al-horford-donates-500k-for-coronavirus-relief-everywhere-hes-played/

Ex-Revolution Defender-Turned NYC Doctor Has Powerful Advice For Athletes — NESN.com

Marshall Leonard remains a capable defender in his new career. The former New England Revolution defender, who now works as an emergency-room doctor in New York City, delivered a gripping message to athletes Wednesday night during his appearance on on ESPN’s “SportsCenter With Scott Van Pelt.” After acknowledging the paralyzing uncertainty many athletes feel as…

Ex-Revolution Defender-Turned NYC Doctor Has Powerful Advice For Athletes — NESN.com

Marshall Leonard remains a capable defender in his new career. The former New England Revolution defender, who now works as an emergency-room doctor in New York City, delivered a gripping message to athletes Wednesday night during his appearance on on ESPN’s “SportsCenter With Scott Van Pelt.” After acknowledging the paralyzing uncertainty many athletes feel as they wait to wait to resume play amid the coronavirus outbreak, Leonard explained to them why it’s so important for them to do whatever it takes to stay in shape. “… I’m a sports fan, I was an athlete previously before, and all the health care providers we’re missing sports just like everybody else,” Leonard said. “As an athlete, I can’t imagine not having a season all of a sudden. One day you wake up and you can’t finish out a championship, you worked so hard for that. “We’re not able to watch it on tv (as healthcare workers). That (used to) give us a lot of relaxation, we come back from a hard shift, we sit back and watch a game. I know I do, and I know a lot of my colleagues do. “… (athletes should) Use this time — and I know it’s completely awkward — use this time to keep yourself in whatever shape possible because when this is done, I’m telling you right now, we need you. We’re doing our thing now but after this we’re going to need you because we’re going to want to watch those games at a high level as well.” These words undoubtedly will resonate with players and fans alike during these unsettling times. Leonard played 63 games for the Revolution between 2002 and 2007. He helped New England win the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 2007 and finish runner-up in the MLS Cup final in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Read more at: https://nesn.com/2020/04/ex-revolution-defender-turned-nyc-doctor-has-powerful-advice-for-athletes/