By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Celtics hopeful Tacko Fall's preseason debut on Sunday night started with an ovation typically reserved for Paul Pierce bouncing up and out of a wheelchair and back into an NBA Finals comeback.
Checked into the game in the fourth quarter of a 107-106 win over the Hornets on Sunday, Fall's first minutes in Boston were full of fanfare, as the 7-foot-6 center totaled five points, three rebounds, and two blocks in just eight minutes of action.
(You had people in taco costumes and everything.)
There was a definite anticipation to Fall's first NBA game, too, with the Garden crowd chanting his name in the first half, putting the pressure on Celtics coach Brad Stevens to answer their demands. In a preseason game, no less.
"Tacko is such a gracious guy, and it puts him in such a tough spot, right? He knows he doesn't want to put extra heat on me," Stevens said. "Everybody wants Tacko. My kids are the same way, and everybody else. I think that's cool, and that's great. But I just hope people continue to appreciate him for what he is as a person and how hard he's working to try to make it to the NBA.
"He's a really good kid and he's really, really working hard, and I think he's going to be in the NBA for a long time."
Fall, with the Celtics on an Exhibit 10 contract, is among a group of five players vying for the final spot on the C's roster.