About Last Night

About Last Night: Let the games begin

Dan McCarney, NBA.com

Another NBA season — No. 73, to be exact — is upon us, providing eight months of fun and excitement with the world’s greatest athletes.

Most of that fun and excitement takes place on the hardwood. But as followers of social media know, off the court can be just as entertaining.

We’ll attempt to chronicle it all here at NBA.com with a new daily feature, About Last Night.

So without further ado, let’s NBA!

Sing it, Kawhi!

This will either make you laugh or haunt your dreams, but here’s Kawhi Leonard’s laughter synthesized with the old “NBA on NBC” theme to ring in another NBA season. Enjoy!


Embiid’s unique warm-up

If you’re going to sneak some TV in before tipoff, it might as well be “Rick and Morty.”

Hayward returns in Boston

Veteran forward Gordon Hayward wasn’t great against the 76ers, missing 8 of 12 shots en route to 10 points — less than half what he averaged in his All-Star season with the Utah Jazz in 2016-17.

That, of course, completely ignores any context, with Hayward playing his first regular-season game in exactly a year since suffering a gruesome, season-ending leg injury in the 2017 opener.

From that standpoint it was a wild success. Hayward suffered no setbacks as the Celtics, flaunting the type of depth most NBA teams can only dream of, crushed the Sixers by 18.

Hayward doesn’t expect to be full strength any time soon as the Celtics will limit his minutes closely. But for now, simply contributing and staying healthy is good enough for him.

“That was a big step for me mentally,” Hayward told Celtics.com. “It was a big confidence booster just to finish that first game. Being back out on the court – that was a big hurdle.”

“Part of it is just having patience and realizing that it’s not all going to come at once. I think as long as I can do things when I’m out there on the court that can help us get wins, then I’ll be happy.”

Kicks of the Night

At first glance, sporting Sixers colors seems like a bizarre choice for a Celtic.

But Jaylen Brown wasn’t sporting just any red-and-blue mismatched shoes. Those were a pair of the venerable Adidas T-Mac IIIs, worn by Brown’s idol Tracy McGrady for the 2004 All-Star Game.

Pay homage to a legend and look awesome doing it? Enemy colors or not, that’s how you make a statement on opening night. Honorable mention — Jayson Tatum and Jordan Bell.

Quote of the Night

“This is not a rivalry. I don’t know our record against them, but it’s pretty bad. They always kick our ass.” – Embiid, after the Celtics rolled to their 19th victory in the past 22 meetings with the Sixers.

Some funky math …

Think hard. You’ll get it eventually.

(Hint: Jalen Rose used to play for the Raptors. Hint No. 2: Rose and the Raptors once had a really, really bad encounter with Kobe Bryant.)

Duds of the Night

Custom slippers and PJs to the season opener? Custom slippers and PJs to the season opener! You do you, Draymond.

Not on game day, Steph

Security personnel at Oracle Arena apparently take their job very, very seriously.

Some historic bling

To quote Sidney Deane, it’s so pretty! The Warriors spared no expenses for their latest championship rings, coming up with an array of unique features that includes what is purported to be the first reversible face in the history of commemorative sports jewelry.

Sneaking a taste …

Thus, a new NBA meme was born. Rookie mistake, Russ. The camera sees all.

Right as reign

And out in L.A., LeBron James bides his time and prepares for an opener of his own on Thursday.