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Raptors in NBA Finals good for Canada hoops: Morrison

Morell’s Scott Morrison, an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics, talks with forward Gordon Hayward, left.
Morell’s Scott Morrison, an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics, talks with forward Gordon Hayward, left.
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —

A Boston Celtics assistant coach from Morell sees value in the NBA Finals being held north of the border for the first time even if he isn’t cheering for either team.

Scott Morrison grew up a New York Knicks fan and cheering for centre Patrick Ewing. It continued through some lean years until the Boston Celtics hired him to coach the Maine Red Claws of the NBA G League. He’s been a Celtics fan ever since and has served as an assistant coach in Boston since 2016 as part of Brad Stevens’ staff.

“It’s kind of bittersweet for me, I guess, because I was hoping we’d be in the finals, just like every other team,” Morrison said Wednesday.

The Toronto Raptors host the Golden State Warriors tonight for Game 1 of the best-of-seven series.

“I was never a Raptors fan but always root for Canadian basketball, and while there’s not a lot of necessary Canadian players playing for the Raptors, it’s still a team that represents the country,” Morrison said. “It’s exciting to see everyone get hyped up about it and so invested in basketball, in general, so I think it’s a good thing overall.”

Morrison was attending UPEI and playing for the Panthers during the Raptors early days in the NBA. He has coached junior men’s national teams, and some of those players would have been influenced by the Raptors.

“They saw first-hand . . . people like them can make it to that level if they put their mind to it and get a few breaks,” he said.

The Celtics lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round of the playoffs. Morrison had a couple of weeks off but has begun individual workouts with players before coaching in the summer league.

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