Celtics teammates are helping Tacko Fall navigate his fame

He was giving out his phone number until Enes Kanter stopped him.

Boston MA - 7-1-2019 -  Celtics center Tacko Fall smiles as he talks to members of the media after practice. The Boston Celtics held a practice session for their NBA Summer League team at the Auerbach Center. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)
At 7-foot-5, it's hard for Tacko Fall to hide from the spotlight. –Jim Davis / Globe Staff

If you get the chance to take a photo with Tacko Fall, chances are he’ll oblige. His teammate Tremont Waters just wishes you would ask first.

In an interview with ESPN, Fall told Jackie MacMullan about adjusting to fame, while Waters and Enes Kanter illustrated how much attention can be on the 7-foot-5-inch Senegalese sensation – and how he refuses to shy away from it.

“I’ve always been a firm believer that you always receive the energy that you put out,” Fall told MacMullan. “I always try to put out positive energy, and I feel like it gets back to me.”

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It’s hard for Fall to just blend in with the crowd, so he leans right into it. Sometimes, according to his teammates, he leans in a little too much. When a group of kids approached Waters and Fall with their phones already out for photos, Waters felt the need to protect his teammate.

“At least say hi or something,” Waters said. “He’s still a human being. Don’t just walk up and be rude about it.”

Kanter remembered a time he went out to eat with Fall, and found him giving his phone number out to people around them.

“I was like, ‘Tacko, what are you doing? You can’t do that.’ And he said, ‘Oh, they’re just nice people.’ I was like, ‘Tacko, no,'” Kanter said.

Coach Brad Stevens said the two-way player has done a good job of adjusting to the demands of the NBA. But even more impressive, Stevens says, is his attitude.

“The thing that Tacko definitely did when he was in Boston, and every time he comes through, is he raises the energy level of those bigs in practice, because they all love him,” Stevens said. “He may just be brought down to make everybody smile a little bit more.”

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Fall was recalled from Maine Wednesday and saw 10 minutes of action in that night’s loss to San Antonio. He is eligible to play again Thursday when the Celtics travel to Philadelphia.