Tacko Fall has done enough to reach the NBA, but he must do more to stick there.
Celtics legend Cedric Maxwell insisted Sunday night on CBS Boston’s “Sports Final” that the rookie center must improve his footwork in order to become a full-time NBA player. Maxwell aired his opinion on Fall hours after the Celtics announced they had converted the 7-foot-5 prospect’s contract into a two-way deal.
Although Fall can spend up to 45 days with the Celtics this season, he’ll spend the bulk of his debut professional campaign with the Maine Red Claws, Boston’s NBA G-League affiliate, where most expect he’ll play regular games in order to continue growing as a basketball player.
Maxwell calls on Fall to adapt to today’s NBA to further his hopes of forging a long career in The Association.
“I’ve never seen a 7-footer who wants to be a 7-footer,” Maxwell said. “Tacko is who he is. … He can play, but I think in the new NBA it’s dinosaur-like. … You have to guard multiple positions from the outside, you have to be able to shoot the three.
“I’m not sure if his footwork is good enough right now to put him in that position. I think he’s going to be a spot player, where you get five minutes here, five minutes there, maybe change the game a little bit, blocking shots, rebounding or dunking. But I don’t see him as a full-time player right now.
“… I think he’s smart, and if a guy’s smart, I think he has a chance.”
The Celtics initially signed Fall as an undrafted free agent in June, and he since has become a cult hero among fans due to his immense size and easygoing personality. However, “Tackomania” might die down in the future if he fails to stick on the Celtics’ roster or ultimately catch on with another team.
Perhaps Maxwell is right in stating the Celtics sensation must safeguard his career with each step he takes.