Atlantic Notes: Russell, Celtics Roster, Durant, Nets

The Celtics have revealed that they will wear Bill Russell-themed City Edition jerseys 12 times during the 2022/23 season to honor the life and legacy of the 11-time Boston champion, reports Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston (Twitter link), who recaps a Celtics press statement announcing the news. Two of those city jersey appearances will happen during a pair of Russell-themed home tribute contests, one against the Sixers in October and the other against the Grizzlies in February.

The Celtics’ press statement notes that Russell himself was consulted for the development of the tributary City Edition uniform in recent years, in collaboration with the team and the NBA. Russell, a 12-time All-Star and five-time NBA MVP, passed away last month at age 88.

There’s more out of the Atlantic Division:

  • Fresh off a 2022 Finals run, the Celtics are hoping a bolstered bench can help them win a title in 2023. Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe unpacks the team’s current roster. The club added point guard Malcolm Brogdon – who started while with his prior club, the Pacers – but clarified that 2022 Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Smart will remain the team’s starting point guard. Another new addition, veteran forward Danilo Gallinari, will also help strengthen the club’s second unit. Himmelsbach notes that head coach Ime Udoka will prioritize Boston’s health heading into the postseason and lean on the team’s improved depth, particularly given the age of starting center Al Horford and the injury history of starting center Robert Williams.
  • The Nets are reportedly holding out hope that All-Star forward Kevin Durant will reconsider his request to be traded away from Brooklyn, as ESPN’s Brian Windhorst told Malika Andrews on NBA Today (YouTube video link). Windhorst revealed that, even as the Nets front office continues to parse through a variety of potential deals, the team is trying to suss out exactly what Durant would require for a return. He recently met with team owner Joe Tsai in London to demand that the team fire president of basketball operations Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash.
  • Though the Nets were allotted 26 national television appearances during the 2021/22 regular season, the NBA has opted to slash that tally in half heading into 2022/23, perhaps indicating that the league itself is dubious Kevin Durant will remain with the club long-term, writes Brian Lewis of the New York Post. Lewis notes that, amidst the uncertainty surrounding the futures of stars Durant and Kyrie Irving, Brooklyn may not hold as much national appeal to audiences.
  • In some more positive news, Lewis notes that the Nets‘ third star, Ben Simmons, should be fully healthy in time for the team’s October 19 season opener against the Pelicans.
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