When Tacko Fall signed with the Celtics in the summer, he was hopeful that he would also have access to some of the franchise’s greats who preceded him. He told president of basketball operations Danny Ainge that he was especially interested in meeting Kevin Garnett, and that chance arrived Sunday night.
Fall, a two-way contract player who will spend most of this season with the Maine Red Claws, is back in Boston rehabbing a bone bruise on his right knee. And Garnett was in town for the Boston premiere of the new Adam Sandler movie he co-stars in, “Uncut Gems.”
“I said, ‘Yeah I definitely have to go see the movie and try to talk to KG,’ ” Fall said.
The two spoke briefly and exchanged contact information, and Fall was beaming Monday as he recalled the interaction.
“I like everything about him,” Fall said. “I love his competitiveness. He’s one of the greatest to play this game, and he’s a Celtics legend.
“Personally I feel like there’s a lot I can learn from him, from his mind, how he approached the game, his competitiveness, and everything. I’m going to try to learn as much as possible from him whenever I can.”
Fall said that Garnett told him that he just needs to keep working, and he told him to stay in touch. Fall said he would not be shy about sending text messages to Garnett.
“We have so many great players who have been here and accomplished a lot, so we can learn from them and try to do the same thing someday,” he said.
“For me, KG is one of those players. He’s one of my favorite players, so it really meant a lot to meet him.”
Fall said he enjoyed the movie quite a bit, too, and he thinks Garnett’s new career is off to a good start.
“You could just feel KG’s energy was in there, all throughout the movie,” he said.
“I met Adam Sandler and that was the coolest thing ever. I told him my mom’s going to freak out when she finds out I met him.”
Celtics forward Gordon Hayward, who broke his left hand during a collision in Boston’s Nov. 9 win in San Antonio, returned to face the Cavaliers on Monday. Hayward had 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists in 26 minutes 10 seconds of play in the Celtics’ 110-88 victory.
Hayward underwent surgery two days after the injury and it was announced that would miss six weeks, although the team generally releases the longer end of a recovery time to reduce expectations.
“He’s just a good player,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “He has a real feel for the game on both ends. One of the things about our defense that I think has made our defense, when we’ve played our best, is our ability to cover one another when people are in tough spots. He can read those situations well and he’s a good communicator.
“He’s played a lot of basketball in his life. It’s always good to get good players back.”
Aches and pains
The Celtics were not quite able to return to full health, however. Marcus Smart missed Monday’s game because of an eye infection and Robert Williams sat out because of a sore left hip. Romeo Langford, who has been sidelined with an ankle sprain for the past two weeks, took part in some of Monday’s shootaround and is nearing a return. And Fall could return by the end of the week, Stevens said . . . The Celtics held a moment of silence for Pete Frates prior to Monday’s game. Frates, the former BC baseball player who helped inspire the ALS ice bucket fund-raising challenge, was 34.