Tacko Fall has been a fan favorite ever since he burst onto the scene at the University of Central Florida, but even at 7-foot-6, it wasn’t a guarantee that he would make it in the NBA. Those concerns only increased after he went undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft this summer.
He was able to latch on with the Boston Celtics for Summer League in Las Vegas, however, and has stuck with the team through training camp and the preseason. Now, he’ll be hanging around even longer. Early on Sunday afternoon, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Celtics are signing Fall to a two-way contract.
It’s little surprise that Fall will spend most of the season with the Celtics’ G League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. His unique size makes him an intriguing prospect, but he’s not ready to be an everyday NBA player. He may never be, in fact, but there’s no one else out there that big, so it makes sense for the Celtics to keep him around and see how he develops.
He’s played sparingly in the preseason, averaging 2.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in 6.9 minutes per game. But even in his limited time on the court, everyone in Boston, from fans to his teammates, has become enamored with the big man.
“We love it,” Marcus Smart told reporters about the support for Fall. “It’s crazy to hear, to see. We love it. We want to see him succeed. And we want to see the place erupt for him.”
There is something a bit uncomfortable at times about the enthusiastic support for Fall; you don’t want to see his legitimate efforts to make the NBA reduced to a gimmick. Even he has acknowledged as much but seems to be taking it in stride.
“It’s very motivating, but at the same time, it does make you feel a little uncomfortable sometimes,” Fall said in an interview with the Celtics’ digital team. “I don’t want to take away too much attention from what’s really important. Sometimes I do feel bad for coach Brad. But at the same time it’s a blessing and I’m really thankful that I have so many people cheering me on and rooting for me to be successful.”
Fall will have even more people cheering him on now that he’s earned his spot with the organization for the rest of the season.