Celtics notebook: Kyrie Irving loves Garden energy

The Celtics have held this annual open practice in the Garden for season ticket-holders since the latter part of the Paul Pierce/Kevin Garnett era, but the experience had a kind of newness for Kyrie Irving last night.

From the crowd, to the banners and the floor — even the nets as it turned out — had a special meaning for the Celtics guard.

“The energy. The energy, man,” said Irving, before going into intricate detail with a unique description of the Garden parquet.

“It has that vintage, intimate, kind of replicated vibe for what the Garden used to look like,” he said of the original Garden. “The misfit of the squares in where they’re placed on the floor. They’re going in opposite directions — the perpendicular one if you know what I’m saying. I just appreciate all that. And then the nets as well as the whole intimacy as well. I just like the whole aura of it.

“It’s nothing like it. It’s nothing like it,” he said. “Even the energy in here, I can feel it. All these fans about to pile in. It’s about to be a great day.”

Irving didn’t take part in any of last night’s events, which included a skills challenge, knockout contest and 3-point contest. Brad Stevens, after earlier claiming he would only be a spectator last night, took part in the knockout contest and even lasted until the final three.

But Irving took part in an on-court panel discussion emceed by NBC Sports Boston’s Abby Chin. When asked about what it was like to play in the Garden as an opponent, Irving got to his feet and led a “Let’s go Celtics” chant.

And after fellow panelists Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown and Aron Baynes all gave out their various social-media handles to the crowd, Irving simply said, “Catch me tomorrow at 7:30.”

The Celtics, of course, open their exhibition season tonight against Charlotte in the Garden.

Perhaps the night’s biggest reveal came when Chin told the crowd that Brown clears his mind by writing songs. Put on the spot, Brown refused Chin’s request to sing or rap a couple of lines. But he did share that his entertainment name is “Jay-thoven.”

Quick turnaround

Tonight’s game comes exactly a week after the opening of training camp, and compared to past preseasons, the new truncated format seems like a flash to players more accustomed to how it used to be.

“It definitely feels like it’s here a little bit faster,” said Gordon Hayward, who in a bit of an upset lost to rookie Jayson Tatum in the final round of the 3-point contest.

“I was signing here just yesterday, and here we are a day removed from our first preseason game,” Hayward said. “On one hand, I’m glad we’re going straight to the games. On the other, I wish we had a little more time.”

The only difficulty at the moment is gauging exactly how far along this team is after only a week.

“I don’t know if I can put a number on it,” said Hayward. “(Tonight) will be great to see where we’re at. We’re going against a different team, and we’ll be able to have film on it, we’ll be able to see where we need to get better.”

Anthem plan unknown

Though players and management have discussed ways to approach the national anthem with some sort of team-based showing of solidarity, there is no specific plan as of yet.

But don’t expect to see players kneeling or sitting out the anthem. NBA commissioner Adam Silver sent out a memo last week warning players to stand.

“We haven’t discussed anything as a team as of yet,” said Irving. “But I’m pretty sure we have our individual beliefs and we have to have a conversation between all of us. But I think that was a great memo by Adam. Honestly, whether it’s a rule or not, whether it becomes one of those things where you feel like you have to do it, throughout the league in general, guys have either stood or been in the locker room getting ready or have done anything that they’ve done in order to prepare for the game.

“I think that when we stand in solidarity, for me, I don’t mind it,” he said. “I feel like everyone standing up is a respect to the flag of course. The people that have come before me and the history behind it, with also the understanding of what’s going on in our world. I feel like standing as one and being with everyone in this setting particularly, it means something to me. Especially the way I prepare and the way I go out there on the floor now, in terms of everyone else, whether they kneel, I have the ultimate respect for whatever their decision is, whatever their beliefs are because that’s on them.

“That’s solely on them. But, I think it was great for Adam to have everyone understand that we want to be on the same page. This isn’t a black versus white thing or any other racial, social construct that would be going against what your social norm is.”

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