Boston Celtics

Watch: Joel Embiid tries afternoon tea and crumpets to celebrate London game

Watch: Joel Embiid tries afternoon tea and crumpets to celebrate London game

Joel Embiid is a very large human being so watching him drink out of a tiny little tea cup and eat a tiny little crumpet is quite the sight.

JoJo sat down with former Penn State basketball star and current broadcaster over in Europe John Amaechi for afternoon tea and cakes.

The NBA posted video of their afternoon tea session to help promote the game the Sixers will play against the Boston Celtics in January in London

"I think it's great for the game to actually play a game [in London]. It shows you that the NBA is willing to come and grow this game," Embiid says of the NBA playing a game overseas.

That's all fine and nice but simply watching Embiid drink tea for basically the first time is pretty hilarious. He tries some regular old tea at first and determines it needs some sugar. Being such a big man, JoJo doesn't simply put one sugar cube into his tea. No, Embiid puts like 8 cubes in and that makes the tea more agreeable to him.

Sixers to face Celtics at London's O2 Arena

Sixers to face Celtics at London's O2 Arena

The Sixers are heading to London.

They will take on the Celtics at The O2 Arena on Jan. 11, 2018. This will count as a home game for the Sixers. CSN will broadcast the game. 

“The NBA has done an exceptional job of attracting and cultivating fans from across the world, and we’re thrilled to bring the Philadelphia 76ers to London, a special city with rich culture and tradition,” president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said.

The Sixers last played in the U.K. during the 2013 preseason as part of the NBA Global Games Manchester against the Thunder. This game will be a return to London for Brett Brown. He coached the Australian national team there for the 2012 Olympics. 

“Participating in NBA London Game 2018 is a great opportunity for our players to compete in front of an international audience at the historic O2 Arena,” Brown said. “The basketball fans there are very passionate and I am looking forward to playing the Celtics there in January.”

Tickets for the London game will go on sale in October. Because this is a home game for the Sixers, season-ticket members who have paid in full for the season have two options. They can request a refund for the game or put the charges toward a credit for future games.

The scenario is different for season-ticket members on an automatic payment plan. They will not be charged for this game and it will be removed from their plan statements in January. 

The Sixers have close ties to professional sports in London. Managing general partner Josh Harris and co-managing general partner David Blitzer co-own Crystal Palace F.C. of the EPL. Crystal Palace will play Burney two days after the Sixers’ game. 

“This is a tremendous opportunity to showcase our dynamic team filled with exciting international players to a fan base that has a clear passion for world-class sporting events,” Harris said. 

Echoed Blitzer, who lived in London for 10 years, “It’s really exciting and encouraging to see the NBA continue to skyrocket in popularity internationally.”

The Sixers also are linked to London through their esports franchise, Team Dignitas, whose president and founder Michael “ODEE” O’Dell lives in the city. 

“With the support of our international fans and our family of dynamic sports and entertainment brands awaiting our arrival, we anticipate a very welcoming experience,” chief executive officer Scott O’Neil said.

The complete 2017-18 regular season schedule is expected to be released in the coming days. The Sixers will kick off their preseason action on Oct. 4 against the Grizzlies at the Wells Fargo Center. They also reportedly will play the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Christmas.

NBA Notes: Paul Pierce officially retires as a member of the Celtics

NBA Notes: Paul Pierce officially retires as a member of the Celtics

BOSTON -- Paul Pierce is retiring as a member of the Boston Celtics.

The Celtics announced Monday that they have signed Pierce to a contract so the 10-time All-Star can retire with the team where he spent his first 15 seasons in the NBA.

Pierce helped bring Boston a championship in 2008 as part the "Big Three" of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. Pierce previously said that last season would be his final one in the NBA.

Drafted by Boston as the 10th overall pick in 1998, Pierce started a 15-season run that is behind only John Havlicek's 16 seasons for the most played in a Celtics uniform.

"It's an honor to have this opportunity to once again call myself a Boston Celtic," Pierce said in a statement. "The organization and city took me in and made me one of their own, and I couldn't imagine ending my career any other way. I'm a Celtic for life" (see full story).

Rockets: Owner Leslie Alexander is selling team
HOUSTON -- The Houston Rockets are going up for sale.

Rockets CEO Tad Brown made the announcement Monday, hours after owner Leslie Alexander made the decision.

"It's been my great joy and honor to own the Houston Rockets for the past 24 years," Alexander said in a statement. "I've had the incredible opportunity to witness true greatness through the players and coaches who have won championships for the city, been named to All-Star and All-NBA teams, enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame, and done so much for our franchise and our fans."

Alexander took over as owner on July 30, 1993, and the Rockets went on to win back-to-back titles in 1994-95 behind the likes of Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler. In 24 seasons under Alexander, the Rockets have won 56.9 percent of their games, fifth-highest in the league.

Brown said the 74-year-old Alexander had been approached over the years by potential buyers, but never considered it until very recently.

"I think it's been something he's been thinking about a little bit," Brown said. "It can wear on you after so many decades and he's tired. There are passions in his life now that are becoming more and more clear. His family, certainly, and his philanthropic efforts, what he'll be able to do with his additional time and his resources on a global scale is something that he's very much looking forward to" (see full story).

Knicks: Team open to moving on with or without Anthony
GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- The New York Knicks' new regime is ready to move on with or without Carmelo Anthony.

New president Steve Mills said Monday the Knicks have been talking to teams about a trade and will continue looking for a deal that works for the organization and its All-Star forward.

"But we also feel that Carmelo could easily be a part of our team next year, and we have to understand how we're going to play and what the expectations of how we're going to play, and we're going to move forward," Mills said. "So maybe with Carmelo or maybe without Carmelo."

Mills also ruled out a buyout of Anthony's contract, which has two years and about $54 million remaining and might be an easier route to a breakup than a trade.

Phil Jackson had been eager to deal Anthony before he and the Knicks parted ways last month. Mills was promoted to president and the Knicks hired Scott Perry as general manager.

They said the Knicks will focus on youth and athleticism, which doesn't seem to leave room for the 33-year-old Anthony. But they added that veterans will still have a place in mentoring the young talent.

Anthony has a no-trade clause and has told the Knicks he would agree to a deal with Cleveland or Houston. But the Knicks don't want to take back long-term contracts, which makes finding a deal difficult. Now Mills has Perry to help him find one (see full story).