Celtics players view the injury that Kemba Walker suffered Friday in Denver as a chance to prove they can overcome adversity, writes Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. The team provided an update on Walker’s condition in a tweet this morning, declaring him doubtful for tomorrow’s game with the Kings because of a neck sprain. There’s no word on how long he might be out of action.
Walker was carried off the court after colliding with teammate Semi Ojeleye while chasing a loose ball. He was taken to an area hospital, but was released in time to join the Celtics for their flight back to Boston. Bulpett notes that Walker experienced neck problems while playing in the FIBA World Cup this summer.
“You always miss one of your better guys, but it’s just the circumstance right now,” Marcus Smart said. “He’s injured. But I think it gives us a lot of confidence to understand that we can still compete with anybody when he’s gone. So when he comes back, I mean, we’re just going to be that much better, you know? So that’s what it’s about. I can’t wait ’til he gets back, personally.”
There’s more from Boston:
- Smart is unhappy with the way the Nuggets handled an exchange with a fan during Friday’s game, Bulpett relays in a separate story. Smart claims he was taunted after going out of bounds, and he doesn’t believe security did anything about it. “We’re going to end up protecting ourselves eventually, and it’s not going to be pretty for the fans, and we don’t want that,” he said. “The league doesn’t want that, we don’t want that as players, but at some point you’ve got to stand up and you’ve got to protect yourself as a man.”
- Brad Wanamaker has shown some encouraging signs that he can fill in for Walker while he’s sidelined, notes A. Sherrod Blakely of NBC Sports Boston. Wanamaker averaged 11 PPG during the five-game road trip while shooting 51.5% from the field and 50% from 3-point range.
- Jayson Tatum is probably the NBA’s thriftiest player, according to Kathleen Elkins of CNBC. Tatum, who has a $7.83MM salary this season, puts all his checks from the Celtics into savings and lives on the money he makes from endorsements. “When I picked my agent, I told him I want to do as much off-the-court stuff as I can,” Tatum recently told The Boston Globe. “Right now I’m young, so I try to do everything as much as possible. … Tomorrow is not promised. You’re not promised the next contract. You want to save all the money you can.”