Boston Celtics

Jul 6, 2019; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Boston Celtics center Tacko Fall (55) against the Philadelphia 76ers during an NBA Summer League game at Thomas & Mack Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

By Matt McCarthy,

If you only heard the roar at the Garden Sunday night and didn’t see 7’6 rookie Tacko Fall check into the game, you would’ve guessed that Robert Parish had just walked through that door.

It’s obvious that Celtics fans love them some Tacko, and the numbers back that up.

NBC Sports Boston reported they saw a 54 percent jump in ratings when Fall checked into the game midway through the fourth quarter of the 107-106 win over the Charlotte Hornets.

The reaction for the giant is astonishing, especially given there are no guarantees Fall even makes the roster. The undrafted rookie could be destined to spend much of the year in Portland with the Maine Red Claws, the Celtics G League affiliate.

Fans were chanting “We want Tacko” for much of the night, and head coach Brad Stevens found it hard not to notice.

“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 is one of five players trying to earn the final spot on Boston’s roster. He is currently with the team on an Exhibit 10 contract.

You can hear Matt McCarthy on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.