NBA Guru Chris Mannix On The Celtics' Rise And Players KneelingPlay
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Today on Season Ticket, host Chris Gasper (@cgasper) welcomes Chris Mannix to discuss all the major storylines heading into the NBA season, which kicks off in dramatic fashion on October 17th with the Celtics facing the Cavaliers in Cleveland.
Chris and Chris break down the Celtics' potent offense, weigh Kyrie's potential to become a franchise player, and talk about rumors that superstar Anthony Davis will end up wearing green. They also look at the NBA's response to the NFL anthem protests, whether NBA players plan to kneel, and what would (and should) happen if they do.
- Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixYS), Senior NBA Writer and Analyst, Yahoo Sports and NBC Sports Boston
"Supporting the players 100%, regardless of what happens, to me, is the only way to go."Chris Mannix, on how the NBA should respond if players protest
On how the NBA should respond if players kneel during the national anthem
Chris Mannix: My suggestion for [the NBA] would be, if it happens, for the NBA just to say, "I support our players." For the owner of that team to say, "I support our players." ...I don't know that they're likely to do that. In fact, I think the reverse is probably true—they might fine or suspend a player. But if they want to avoid an all out culture war in the NBA, supporting the players 100%, regardless of what happens, to me, is the only way to go.
On how NBA anthem protests would compare to those in the NFL
Chris Mannix: The NBA, in addition to being 75% black, it also has the highest percentage of an audience that's African-American, 45%. And if the NBA comes down on a player [for kneeling during the anthem]—fines him, suspends him, if Donald Trump gets involved in this as he did with the NFL, it'll make the controversy that the NFL went through look like small potatoes.
"The offensive potential for this team is limitless."Chris Mannix on the Celtics this season
On whether the Celtics can live up to the lofty expectations for this season
Chris Mannix: I think they can. If you talk to scouts, each one of them will tell you that Boston right now has the most potent offensive team in the Eastern Conference. I mean, they should routinely put up 100+ points and they should be dynamic on that end of the floor. I think Brad Stevens' ability to maximize the talents of his players, which he's shown over the last four years, will make it a little bit easier for Kyrie and Gordon Hayward to mesh and find some chemistry...The offensive potential for this team is limitless.
On why the Celtics preferred Kyrie Irving over Isaiah Thomas
Chris Mannix: [Irving] is a better pick-and-roll player than Isaiah Thomas. I think he can be a better 3-point shooter, especially in the long term, especially on stand-up threes...[He] fits the prototypical mold of what a point guard should look like: big, athletic, not a great defensive player but with the potential to get a little bit better. He makes more sense as a franchise, build-around player, at this point, than Isaiah Thomas did.
"It will take the greatest trade package in NBA history...[but] I would make that kind of offer for Anthony Davis"Chris Mannix on whether the Celtics can acquire Anthony Davis
On the rumors that all-star Anthony Davis might eventually join the Celtics
Chris Mannix: If [the New Orleans Pelicans] goes south, and they don't look like they have any direction, you could certainly see Davis take the same tack that Paul George did and start to publicly call for some sort of deal, or say that he wants to go somewhere else. If that happens, I think Boston will be first in line because, even after all the deals the Celtics made this offseason, they still have as much, if not more, draft capital than any team out there...I mean, make no mistake, it will take the greatest trade package in NBA history to get Anthony Davis out of New Orleans...But, if I'm Boston, and I can maintain my core of Irving and Hayward, if I can maintain some level of flexibility, I would make that kind of offer for Anthony Davis.