NBA’s new tallest player feels the love
Tacko Fall has officially made it to the NBA.
The Boston Celtics' 2.3m big man, who once was considered a long shot to play in the league, played in his first regular-season game in his team's 118-95 rout over the New York Knicks on Sunday (AEDT) at Madison Square Garden.
He may have been the highlight of the night for many of the disgruntled Knicks fans who began "We want Tacko" chants late in the blowout as their side slumped to another ugly defeat.
Fall, who played about four minutes, didn't disappoint in his cameo, promptly scoring four points on two dunks. He also had three rebounds and a block.
Fall's teammates showered him with just as much love as the crowd. You can see from their reactions to his dunks in the video below just how much they appreciate having the NBA's tallest player around.
Back-to-back dunks from big man Tacko Fall ☘️ pic.twitter.com/LqavtsbKk5— ESPN Australia & NZ (@ESPNAusNZ) October 27, 2019
Boston star Kemba Walker said: "We love Tacko. We love Tacko, man. He's a great dude. Everything he's gained, he deserves. We love him. He works hard, man. Happy for him."
Fall was over the moon after contributing in his first ever outing in the pros.
"That was unbelievable. It felt like a dream. For a very long time I've thought about this moment, and finally came here and it finally happened, and I'm really thankful," he told Jeff Lenchiner of InsideHoops.com.
"I'm really thankful that so many people care about me, regardless of where I play, if they're rooting against the team I play with. I've seen that in a lot of places that I've been so far, and I'm really thankful. It's an unbelievable feeling.
"Credit to my teammates, they would (tell) me, 'Stay ready'. (They would) Talk to me before the game, during the game. So it was a little bit easier for me to do that."
Speaking to reporters in the locker room, Fall said he didn't know when he was going to get his chance on the floor but made sure he was ready when the call came.
"Once the score kept going up I was thinking in my mind, 'This might be go time'," he said. "It felt amazing going out there, just trying to have fun and enjoy the moment.
"You're here at the Garden, it's New York ... it's crazy.
"I just tried to keep my cool and finish out the game.
"You dream of this moment."
Fall's headline-grabbing debut came after he was unavailable for the Celtics' season-opening loss to Philadelphia because he was in the league's concussion protocol after hitting his head on a "low ceiling" in the lead-up to the game.
With Ted Holmlund, New York Post