Morning sports update: Peter King discussed a ‘sleeping giant’ contender for Tom Brady in free agency

"I mean, look, they've got a pretty good offensive line, and they’ve got two excellent receivers."

Tom Brady during a Patriots press conference at the end of the season.

The Celtics defeated the Warriors at TD Garden on Thursday, 119-104. Boston honored Kobe Bryant with a pregame tribute, and the crowd responded with a standing ovation.

Also on Thursday, Jayson Tatum found out that he had been selected as an Eastern Conference All-Star.

Peter King’s dark horse candidate for Tom Brady: The ongoing speculation about Tom Brady’s future jumped into overdrive on Thursday night when the 42-year-old quarterback posted a cryptic Instagram photo.

Even without Brady fueling the rumors on his own, discussion continues apace about a possible landing spot outside of New England. Several teams are seen as frontrunners, but NFL insider Peter King recently mentioned one team that hasn’t been widely discussed as a potential suitor for Brady.


“The one I kind of believe is the sleeping giant in this is Tampa Bay,” King told WEEI’s “Dale & Keefe” on Thursday. “And, when I say that, if Jameis Winston is realistic with what his contract demands slash requests — whatever — are, in my opinion, he’ll be the quarterback of the Bucs next year. But, I don’t know that, I’m hearing some things out of Tampa that he might want — and his agents might want — a little bit more money than the Bucs want to pay. And we’ll see if that pans out.”

King explained his reasoning regarding Tampa Bay. In essence, it boils down to the appeal of Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, seen was one of the more creative offensive minds in the league.

“Here’s the reason why: I mean, look, they’ve got a pretty good offensive line, and they’ve got two excellent receivers,” King explained. “They’ve got a really good, young tight end and they’ve got a very imaginative head coach and offensive coordinator in the passing game. So, I can’t tell you absolutely what they would do, or what they’re going to do. But I can tell you that they’re fascinating, to me, because I think Bruce Arians’s not coaching forever. And I think he’s one of those guys that all quarterbacks say, ‘Man, it’d be cool to work for Bruce Arians,’ because he’s such a fun offensive mind.


“I guess I look at it and say, when I think about Tampa Bay and Tom Brady,” King concluded, “it makes as much sense to me as any of these other teams out here with the possible exception of the Chargers.”

Trivia: Seven different Celtics have accounted for eight NBA All-Star Game MVP awards in the competition’s history. Can you name all of them?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: Their initials are: EM, BC, BS, BR, DC, NA, and LB.

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On this day: In 2007, Kobe Bryant came to Boston for a Lakers-Celtics matchup. It was a moment in time when the Celtics were at a low point, with the team immersed in a franchise-record losing streak of 18 straight between Jan. 7 and Feb. 11.

Bryant and Los Angeles pounced on the opportunity, as he scored 43 points at TD Garden in a 111-98 win. After nailing his seventh three-pointer of the night, Bryant was even treated to the rarest of sounds in Boston: MVP chants for a Laker.

Daily highlight: Louisiana’s Cedric Russell hit a three at the buzzer for the win over UT Arlington.

Trivia answer: Ed Macauley, Bob Cousy, Bill Sharman, Bill Russell, Dave Cowens, Nate Archibald, Larry Bird.