Tacko Fall is one of the feel-good stories of this year. After becoming a sensation during the 2019 NCAA Tournament, Fall went undrafted this summer.
The Boston Celtics signed the former UCF star to participate in the NBA Summer League, and Fall capitalized on his opportunity, earning a non-guaranteed contract with the Celtics.
Fall–who towers over his peers at 7’7″–made his preseason debut with the Celtics on Monday night, but he is still fighting for the final roster spot.
Although Fall has already garnered a ton of support, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens is hoping that the fans learn to appreciate the Senegalese big man as a person and a player, and not as a “gimmick.”
Stevens spoke about Fall during the postgame press conference on Monday (via Bobby Manning of SB Nation):
“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. 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. Because 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 seems to be battling for the final roster spot with rookie guard Javonte Green.
Green went 7-for-7 from the field on Monday night, scoring 15 points and adding four rebounds in just over 10 minutes of run time.
Regardless of whether or not Fall makes the roster, however, he seems to have won the respect and admiration of his head coach.