The NBA Finals arrived in Boston on Wednesday for Game 3 of the series, and the Celtics were able to defend their home turf. Beating the visiting Golden State Warriors with a final score of 116-100, Boston took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
After the game, the team received some words of encouragement from a man used to seeing championship-level performances albeit in a different sport. New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was invited into the locker room by Celtics head coach Ime Udoka, and held a brief speech in front of the players.
“I’ve been watching the Celtics since I’ve been a kid, and that’s a few years ago,” Kraft said. “Back with Bill Russell and Bob Cousy and [Bill] Sharman and [Jim] Loscutoff, and I loved the teams right up through [Larry] Bird. But seeing this, you guys have something special here.”
Kraft was one of several people associated with the Patriots attending Wednesday’s game, even though he appeared to play the most active role among them.
New England head coach, Bill Belichick, visited TD Garden, as did several players. Running backs Damien Harris and James White, defensive tackles Davon Godchaux and Byron Cowart, and linebacker Dont’a Hightower — who was announced by the Celtics as a Patriots player despite still remaining unsigned as an unrestricted free agent — were all in attendance as well.
The Patriots are currently holding their mandatory minicamp at Gillette Stadium, 20 miles southwest of downtown Boston. They will return to the practice fields for a third and final time this week on Thursday morning.
The Celtics, meanwhile, will get a day off before their Game 4 bout with the Warriors on Friday. It would not be a surprise to see several Patriots in attendance for that contest as well.