Tagged with "NBA"
This and That - 02/21/13
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Ben Pike University of Toledo Ashlee Barrett Kentucky Basketball Mitchell Marcus NBA All-Star Game shooting and Slam Dunk contests Jerry Buss

 

NBA weekend, Kentucky, Jerry Buss, all this and more in this weeks edition of…

This and That



Sorry this is late. I worked 12 hours and just got home. Please excuse any grammar or spelling errors.



Ben Pike, a football player at the University of Toledo, has left the team so he could be with his fiancee as she undergoes treatment for leukemia. Pike is a foot, 3-inch 260-pound defensive lineman who would have been a starter next season. Ben was informed in January that his fiancee, Ashlee Barrett, leukemia had returned. Ben Pike thought it was more important to turn his attention to his future wife then to play football. A very noble thing to do.



Does anyone feel sorry for the Kentucky baseball program? Nah. They have have the number one recruiting class year-in-year out so why should we. Come to think of it How come Wiltier hasn’t picked it up. He was the #3 center in the nation in his recruiting class. Then again Poythress was #3 as a SF, Goodwin was #3 as a SG. Noel wasn’t going to make the Wildcats that much better.

Calipari, listen up, when you live by the one-and-done, you die by the one-and-done.



Congratulations to Danica Patrick in becoming the first women to win the pole in any Sprint Cup Race. Danica averaged 196.434 mph in winning the pole.

With winning the pole position, and how she conducted herself in interviews after the achievement, you can see that Danica is maturing as a NASCAR driver.



Coronado High School Basketball student team manger with special needs, Mitchell Marcus, played for the first time in his four years with the team during a game versus their rival team, Franklin High.

Peter Morales, Coronado’s head coach, stated that "Mitchell has been a big part of this team and this team's success," said Morales. The only way he could reward Marcus was to give the senior something special: He wanted Marcus to suit up. "It was going to be a surprise for him, so during our shoot-around Tuesday, I gave him a uniform, and his eyes just sparkled. He was ready for the moment," said Morales. "That would have been enough," said Amy Marcus, Mitchell Marcus's mom. So with the team leading by 14 points coach Morales put Marcus into the game. "We were so grateful the kids got us a big enough lead that everyone felt comfortable letting Mitchell in, which was amazing," said Amy Marcus. "It gave you chills and just to hear the crowd go Mitchell, Mitchell, Mitchell," said Morales. "There aren't words to describe it. But the entire section, the whole Coronado section was standing up and cheering. There was not one person sitting down," said Amy Marcus. Coronado’s players kept giving Mitchell the ball and he just kept missing. With time winding down the ball was in rival Franklins possession. But in the classiest act of the year, Jon Montanez, a Franklin player had the ball, he then passed the ball to Mitchell. Mitchell took the shot and he made it. "That was just the most incredible sportsmanship I've ever seen," said Amy Marcus. The crowd rushed the court, lifting Marcus onto their shoulders, chanting, "Mitchell! Mitchell!" "To put away the rivalry for a persons special moment in his life, was just amazing," said Morales, who also credited the Franklin team, coach and officials for their sportsmanship. "I was bawling, just bawling. Every mom around me was bawling," said Amy Marcus."The kids from both sides did everything possible to make Mitchell's night be beyond anyone's expectations, with such a rivalry between the two schools, everyone dropped the rivalry," she added.



There needs to be a change to the NBA All-Star game. It has no real shooting. Yeah they shoot a little three pointer here and there or another outside shot every 6 minutes to make the purists happy. But, for the most part it is simply a slam-a-jam contest, that quite frankly is getting boring.

Sorry to say, but to make it more competitive, the NBA all-star game is going to have to do what baseball did, and that is the winning conferences best team gets home court advantage for the NBA finals.

Ah, but to make it more interesting the following rules should apply:

All teams must be represented. If a team is not represented by a player as a starter then they will be selected as a substitute So if one team has 3 starters on the team and one from two other teams, then a player from each team (total of 12 players) should be added to the team for a total of 17 players. If the other conference has only two starters from the same team and three player from three different teams then they can have 12 players added from other teams, but at least one player from every team must be represented.

All players must play a minimum of 3 minutes.



I like the shooting competition because you at least have to shoot the ball around the three point line. The dunk contest sucks because for the most part its the same type of dunk.

How about passing skills? Have garbage cans lined up in different positions and different heights and angles (something like the NHL’s shooting skills contest), . Have a timer of 45 seconds and see how many basketballs a player get put in the garbage can. For each successful pass $1,000 goes to the players charity. The winner of the contest will get $100,000 for their favorite charity.



A legend, in the world of owners has passed away. Los Angeles Lakers owner, Jerry Buss died at the age of 80 of kidney failure. In the steal of the century Jerry purchased the Lakers, Kings, The Forum and 13,000 acres for only $67 million (that was a lot back in 1979). Turning his reign the Lakers won 19 Division Championships, appeared in 16 Finals and won 10 NBA Titles.



Til Next Time

Scott

 

 

Deep Thoughts 2-20-2013
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Bill Russell/NBA Best 5 all time Josh Hamilton Octavio Dotel and the MLB.

 

 

 

Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. I will be honest, I am anxious for baseball season…if for no other reason than to have something to write about. Basketball is a great sport, but for whatever reason, I just do not seem to have much of an interest any longer. I watched the TNT broadcast prior to the NBA all star game, but turned the channel when it got close to game time. It looked very much like a Vegas show to me. They are trying way too hard to bring a show when really; it is just an all star game. Play the game and forget the flash. Perhaps the problem is that I am not part of the targeted market? Maybe the NBA is consciously looking for a younger viewer? One thing that I do enjoy is the guys on the TNT show…Barkley is unique and I never get tired of listening to him. One thing that I found very entertaining was the special that Chris Webber did on Bill Russell. I think that Bill Russell sometimes gets overlooked when thinking of former great players. In reading about Russell and watching old video, Russell was a complete player. He understood the game and was interested in one thing…winning. We have all heard the clichés about defense winning championships, but can you think of a player that more personified this statement? Russell won 11 rings. If championships are the mark of the best players, Russell wins hands down. Yes, it was a different time and the game has changed.

 

 

 

 

BOB had an interesting thought in his comment to me yesterday. He does not like playing the “who is the best player of all time game”. He prefers to look for the best 5 players of all time…as in team. If you were able to construct a perfect team of 5 players, who would they be? Here is mine..

 

G Magic
G MJ
F Larry Bird
F Tim Duncan
C Bill Russell

 

There are many great players. It pains me to leave off these guys… Oscar Robertson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Wilt Chamberlain, Jabbar and Moses Malone. But, can you imagine trying to beat my team of five? Can I be the coach? I would just sit and watch.

 

 



 

 

Much has been written about Josh Hamilton and as I wrote during the 2012 baseball season, many fans in Texas were tired of his perceived lack of effort when games mattered. The fly ball that Hamilton dropped against Oakland was truly the final straw for many Texas fans. As we all know, Hamilton signed with the Angels and is preparing to embark on a season that some think find the Angels in the World Series. I am mixed on Hamilton, he has great talent…but carries obvious baggage. It would seem that the best plan for Josh would have been to move forward and focus on being an Angel. Hamilton chose a different path. He decided to take a shot at the Rangers this week with this quote: “there are true baseball fans in Texas, but it is not a true baseball town.” Apparently, Hamilton thinks that the only true baseball towns are New York, Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia. Say what? Hamilton not only alienated any friends he had left in Texas, but probably pissed off a few undecided in Los Angeles. Notice that the list of true baseball towns did not include LA. I have no problem with Josh Hamilton signing a deal with the Angels. Were the Texas fans wrong to boo when Hamilton dropped the routine fly ball against Oakland? Not in my opinion. That was just the culmination of many things going wrong. I am pretty sure that had Hamilton been playing for New York, Boston or Philly and dropped a routine ball like the one in Oakland, that those fans would have booed him as well. Hell, in Philly booing would have been the minimum. Now fans across baseball have a reason to dislike Josh Hamilton. Fans in St. Louis, Cincinnati  and Baltimore will love to learn that they are not true fans. I am not sure why Josh Hamilton said what he did, but my hunch is that this is not exactly what Mike Scioscia wanted the first week of spring training. Welcome to Los Angeles, Josh...a not so true baseball town.

 

 

 

I read a quote a story on Tuesday that Octavio Dotel was frustrated with the leadership that Miguel Cabrera exhibited last year during the playoffs. Dotel was quick to point out that the Tigers would not even have been in the playoffs if not for the bat of Miggy. As a former coach, parent and fan…I have watched many games over the years. Leadership of a team is something that I have found to be a fascinating factor of winning teams. It is the one factor that cannot be quantified with numbers. How do you know which player has the ability to lead? I have watched coaches make excuses for talented players that don’t have leadership traits. They say that they lead by example…sound familiar? The best leaders are not always the best players, but they have to have the respect of the other players. Thinking of the Tigers team this year, I think that V Mart can be that leader. Or, maybe the guy that they just picked up from the Angels is that guy? Torri Hunter. Either way…you can’t win a World Series without having leadership. Take a look at your favorite team. Can you pick the leader? You might be surprised that it is not as easy as you think.

 

 

 

Here is a random thought on the coming baseball season. Most fantasy lists that I have seen have either Mike Trout or Ryan Braun listed as 1 and 2. If you had the first pick, which player would you choose? Do you pay attention to the testosterone spike that Braun had last year? The sportswriters certainly overlooked Braun for the NL MVP last year, but there was no question that he had the best numbers. It is amazing to me that Trout leaps to the top of the list without a full year in the majors. Do you think that Trout ahs a sophomore slump or is only scratching the surface of his talent?

 


That is all I have today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey.




“If you go parachuting, and your parachute doesn't open, and you friends are all watching you fall, I think a funny gag would be to pretend you were swimming.”


“I love to go to the schoolyard and watch the children jump and scream, but they don't know I'm using blanks.”

 

 

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own.

 

 

Musings From The Hoodwood 2-19
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NASCAR NBA College Basketball

 

                                                                           Most Folks think of Danica like this...

 

                                                                                        and not for this...

Greetings from the Hoodwood, where your humble scribe is adjusting to a new work schedule so this week will have a couple thoughts, the Spec Sheet and the Phat Dap/Head Slap…there will be more next week.

 

Danica shows the boys up

Being a father of two lovely daughters, I try to use every opp I can to show them that they can do anything that they put their mind to. NASCAR driver Danica Patrick stunned many racing wonks by winning the pole for the 2013 NASCAR season opener in Daytona. A pole for a NASCAR race was a first, but of course a woman in the sport of the good ole boys. The odds are stacked against her, no driver has won the pole and finished in the top 5 since 2001. The hype machine is already cranked up but Im of the thought that even though Danica drove hard enough to win the pole there is a big difference between winning the pole and winning the race. There is a game to drafting on a superspeedway, there is a toughness to driving in a NASCAR race and Im not inclined to believe that Danica will win The Great American Race next week.

Jerry Buss (1933-2013) Passing of a Sports Iconoclast

I like the word iconoclast, it means nonconformist or rebel. And Dr. Jerry Buss was the definition of an iconoclast, he was a real estate mogul, worked in aerospace and had a doctorate in chemistry at the age of 24. All of this and was the owner of the Lakers, owned the Kings  in the 80s, started Prime Ticket and was the first owner of the LA Sparks as well as LA’s pro tennis team. He was one of the first to sell naming rights of the venue that his team played in as the Lakers and Kings played in the Great Western Forum. He embodied the image of the Hollywood High Roller. If you realize that in the 34 years he owned the Lakers they went from Kareem to Magic to Worthy to Kobe to Shaq. If you think how many players, coaches and general managers worked under his ownership. He basically said get the players, and I’ll get ‘em paid. Under Jerry West and Mitch Kupchak the Lakers have been one of the NBA’s signature teams.  Consider in the 31 seasons before Buss bought the team the Lakers won 6 titles but only 1 in LA and had a winning percentage of .572 in the 34 years of his ownership the Lakers won 10 titles and had a winning percentage of .659 and have only missed the playoffs twice in the entire span. Dr. Buss was the standard of NBA owners, deep pockets and though always close to the players  never a meddler. He was the real symbol of the Lakers and showtime as he was the head honcho of it. Buss had been fighting cancer for a number of years and finally succumbed to its effects and passed due to kidney failure. He was 80

 

Spec Sheet Feburary 15th

“Your subject love is minimal, its sex for profit” Chuck D of Public Enemy.

Its no secret that im no fan of Valentines Day, I return to my true love basketball at this time of the year. As it stands now there is little movement though there are some teams that have pushed their way onto the working list. The list remain speculative and very fluid.

 

Atlantic Coast
(Conference Class-Power)
Solid: Miami Duke, North Carolina State,
Work to do: North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland
Skinny on the ACC: The ACC is wondering what did Arizona, Indiana State and Florida Gulf Coast know that we don’t. Those are the 3 teams that have beaten Miami which is something that an ACC team has yet to do. The dodged an mammoth upset against  Clemson on Sunday and continued to angle for an #1 seed. Im not totally convinced that Maryland is a tournament caliber team, but they made themselves look a whole lot better with their win over Duke Saturday. The Tar Heels got a badly needed win over Virginia and are still in decent shape to make the field.

Key Game:   Virginia at Miami Tonight 9p (ESPNU) The Cavs are in need of a statement win to keep out of bubble trouble but beating the rampaging Canes in Coral Gables is quite the tall order.

 Projected Bids: 5

Atlantic Ten
Conference Class-Mid Major
Solid: Va. Commonwealth, Butler

Work to do: Saint Louis, LaSalle

The Bulldogs took another puzzling loss and their bulletproof status is in jeopardy, though they are still ranked. The Rams are still on and the safer of the two solid squads, though there is a morass of teams (6 to be exact) within 2 games of the top slot. This scenario is far from settled. The Billikens are the sneaky good team here and could push their way into the solid category.

Key Games: VCU at Saint Louis Tonight 9p (CBSS) The Billikens could make a royal mess of the A-10 with a win over VCU

Projected Bids: 3

Big East
Conference Class-Power
Solid: Syracuse, Georgetown, Marquette, Louisville, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Pitt

Work to do: St. Johns, Villanova
Big East Skinny: Nova, found something to plug their sinking boat with a needed win over UConn, Im still leery of increasing my projection to 8 bids. Though with the sudden shaky status of another Wildcat team in another conference, these Wildcats look to be a better bet to make the tourney.

Key Game: Cincinnati at Connecticut Thursday 7p (ESPN)  The maddeningly inconsistent Bearcats are the weakest of the solid teams and need to beat the nothing to play for Huskies to right their teetering ship.

Projected bids: 7

Big Ten
Conference Class-Power
Solid: Indiana, Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State, Illinois, Wisconsin
Work to do: Minnesota, Iowa
The word on the Big Ten is: Wisconsin bounced back strong from their tough OT loss to the Gophers to whip Ohio State but both teams are way safe. Just when you are thinking that the Gophers are good to go they come out flat and get housed by the suddenly surging Hawkeyes.  They are still in need of a lot of work to secure their invite.

Key Game: Minnesota at Ohio State Thursday 7p (BTN) Both teams are coming off getting woodshedded on the road, which team will bounce back?

Projected Bids: 6

Big 12
Conference Class-Power
Solid: Kansas, Oklahoma State, Kansas State
Work to do: Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma
Skinny from the heartland:  The Wildcats hold the lead in the Big 12 for now after they rolled the Mountaineers but who will join them at the top will be determined with the high stakes showdown in Gallagher-Iba with the Jayhawks and Pokes. The Sooners blew a golden opportunity to force their way into the conversation. The Bears and Cyclones are still way way weak for serious consideration but face one another Wednesday with the winner having a better chance to make a serious move.

Key Game: Kansas at Oklahoma State Wednesday 9p (ESPN)  The Pokes stunned the Jayhawks at Allen Fieldhouse and the stakes are higher for this rematch

Projected Bids: 4

Conference USA
Conference Class-Major
Solid: Memphis
Work to do: Central Florida, Tulsa, Southern Miss
Oh Say Can You C-USA Spec: Memphis is getting close to being bulletproof and is burying the competition, Southern Miss needs to keep winning if anything to stay on the other conference tourney playoff ahead of a title game showdown.

Key Game: Southern Miss at UTEP Wednesday 8p The Golden Eagles better not look past the Miners at their do-or-die showdown in Memphis

Projected Bids: 1

Missouri Valley
Conference Class-Mid Major
Solid: Wichita State, Creighton
Work to do: Indiana State
Missouri Valley Skinny: The Shockers are now in the lead here, while the Sycamores have utterly failed in their quest to solidify their tourney resume and may need to win out to and through Arch Madness to get serious consideration for a bid. The Jays are a mess struggling to beat a mediocre Evansville and while are just a single game off the MVC lead are a team in trouble. Could this also be a one bid conference?

Key Game: Wichita State at Indiana State Tonight 7p (ESPN3) The Shockers head to Terre Haute to face a near desperate Sycamore squad.

Projected Bids: 2


Mountain West
Conference Class-Major
Solid: UNLV, San Diego State, Colorado State, New Mexico
Work to do: Air Force
Spec from the Mountains: The Lobos and Rams are starting to pull away from the rest of the conference and are getting more and more bulletproof. They are headed for a showdown at the end of the week but the Rebels and Aztecs are looking a bit shaky. The Rebels are just 2-3 this month, but beating the Aztecs was a badly needed win. The Aztecs are also 2-3 this month but have lost a pair of games that would have made their tourney resume stronger. Air Force keeps blowing chances to get noticed and with the MWC not being a power conference they wont get the benefit of the doubt.

Key Game: Colorado State at UNLV Wednesday 10:15 (CBSS) The Rams better not look pass the Rebels to their Saturday showdown with New Mexico

Projected Bids: 4


Pacific 12
Conference Class-Power
Solid: Oregon, UCLA,  Arizona
Work to do: Arizona State, Colorado, Cal
Spec from the left coast:  My previous key game called it and was spot on, the Buffs got zapped by the Sun Devils right after their emotional win over Arizona and as a result failed to put heft on their resume. The aforementioned Sun Devils are still in the picture following a thrilling win in Colorado. The Cardinal is off the list with their ill timed losing streak and getting outgunned at home by the Bruins.  No change in the solid teams though. Arizona State are as of now the best candidate to move up.

Key Games: Cal at Oregon Thursday 9p (ESPNU). The Golden Bears head into the woods and could really put weight on their resume by beating the conference leaders.

Projected Bids: 3



Southeastern
Conference Class-Power
Solid: Mizzou, Florida, Alabama
Work to do:  Ole Miss, UK
Spec is Down South: Friday I said that UK would make the tourney, but after watching them get choke-slammed in Knoxville by a mediocre (at best) Tennessee squad, they are down to the working level and fading fast. The loss of Nerlens Noel hurts the Wildcats more than they want to admit and they could be only the 8th team to not make the tourney the year after winning it all the year before (North Carolina was the last in 2009) Bama is on the solid line only because they are 2nd in the SEC. Ole Miss is another team that Im not really sold on despite their 19 wins. Mizzou’s profile gets weaker and weaker after an inexcusable loss home loss to Arkansas (yeah I know the Hogs still have designs on a bid but it wasn’t a game they should have lost)

Key Game: Missouri at Florida 9p Tuesday (ESPN) The Tigers fading profile could come right back solid if they go into Gainesville and knock off the SEC leaders.

Projected Bids: 4


Western Athletic
Conference Class- Major
Solid: Louisiana Tech
Work to do: New Mexico State, Denver
Spec on the WAC: Let me know if you have heard this…Louisiana Tech is unbeaten and rolling…ho hum, But here’s where the story changes. New Mexico got stung in Logan by the Aggies and are now in 3rd behind Denver…the Pioneers are still the team you’ve never heard of and are still in contention. Im projecting 2 teams but this is another conference that could be a 1-bid.

Key Game: Central Baptist College at Louisiana Tech Tonight 7p You want to know why the Bulldogs wont get an at-large bid if they stumble in the WAC tourney? Playing a cream puff (no offense meant to the Conway, AR school) in February may be a reason. The Bulldogs had better not even let this one be close.

Projected Bids: 2

West Coast
Conference Class- Mid Major
Solid: St. Marys, Gonzaga
Work to do: BYU
West Coast Spec: The Bulldogs are marking time till March and still have realistic designs on a #1 seed. The Gaels are trying to stay in contention to get a tourney bid. I think that they have enough cred to get it. The Cougars shook off a nasty losing skid but are still light years from the top and are running out of chances to move up, but guess who is up on the docket…

Key Game: BYU at St. Mary’s Thursday 11p (ESPN2) The Gaels won a thriller in Provo on a buzzer beater. If the Cougars want any inkling of a shot to merit continued consideration on this sheet they must win in Moraga, period

Projected Bids: 2

There are others in the mix to be sure. Teams from the always dangerous Colonial and Big South always are in the mix and can send multiple teams. Of course the champions from the following conferences get an automatic bid: Amer. East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big West, Horizon, Ivy, MAC, MAAC, MEAC, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Sun Belt, Summit, and SWAC projected bids from these conferences will be posted here starting February 22nd

Since this is still early spec, nothing here is solid and we haven't even brought up the possibility of upsets. But those never happen, right?

Next Spec Sheet:  Feb 22

 

PHAT DAP/HEAD SLAP

 

Phat Dap

To Gil Cheung of Brandon University outside of Winnipeg, Canada. Chueng, who is the mens basketball coach made a halfcourt shot on behalf of Mason Kaluzniak to win a semester’s free tuition. Check the video out here.

Having had seen Cory Clouse do this at Cincinnati in 1994 on national TV, Im always impressed to see someone do this and win tuition. The best thing is he did it in a suit!!!

 

Head Slap

To Buccaneers DE Da’Quan Bowers who was arrested in New York trying to board an airplane with a handgun.  What is this blockhead thinking, with security as tight as it is and New York not being very tolerant of having a handgun, Bowers royally screwed up. Bowers wasn’t thinking and may have jeopardized his career with this mental lapse.

The Next Spec sheet will be out Friday. Until Next Post Fellow Sports Fans!

Q-o-t-D 2/17/13 Tags: NBA

 

Did you watch the NBA Slam Dunk Contest and other All-Star bullshit?

 

 

Monster View: A Memory Gets Jogged
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Celtics NBA Cousy Russell Auerbach

 

 

The other night I saw something I didn't expect to see. I flipped on the 4th quarter of the Celtics-Bulls game and saw, to my shock, a basketball game! No posing, no strutting, no open-mouthed posturing. Just two all-business teams playing with great teamwork. Defensive rebounding. Fast breaks (the real 3-second variety, when the ball moves via air mail and nobody dribbles). Clutch shots driven by great ball movement. Guys hustling without the ball, setting picks and cutting to open spots. Defensive pressure and masterful switching across the board. And -- gasp -- sportsmanship! It reminded me for the first time in a long time what I loved about the name 'Celtics'. I was inspired by what I saw, and that's a rare thing for the NBA to do to me these days.
 
When the reality of the weekly blog struck, the game was still in my head. But the 4th quarter of a midseason game is hardly fertile material for a weekly blog. What to do? Suddenly I remembered writing something several years ago in a long-gone forum. It too was about the Celtics (and more). I felt compelled to revive it. Written originally in 2010, it reflects on an era long gone but never fogotten, at least by me. Here it is.
 
            ------------------------------
 
With the NBA finals looming, I feel like mentioning the childhood experience of someone I know... 
 
He became a rabid Celtics' fan as a scrawny 8-year-old, faithfully listening to each game that wasn't broadcast too late. Johnny Most would announce the lineup every night as "HeinsohnandRamseyattheforwards, Russellatcenter, SharmanandCousyattheguards." Has anyone ever spoken a greater lineup in three words? That year, the Celtics won their 2nd championship. 
 
He paced the kitchen floor through each game with his hands in his pockets and his thumb stuck between his digit and ring fingers. It seemed to work... they always won when he did that. Despite only seeing the team rarely on television back then, the little fan never lost faith and felt that he could actually see the game. Johnny Most was such a vibrant announcer back then, one practically could see it. 
 
By the time he'd reached high school an increasing number of games were telecast. The roster had changed gradually, but the team was still winning... in fact, they wouldn't lose the title until he was a 6'3" high school junior! It was a terrible shock... they weren't supposed to lose... but Philadelphia was just too strong, and rumors persisted that Russell had been playing with a broken elbow since February. Didn't matter --- there were no excuses, and there was no consolation. 
 
Then, after a year of coping with the fact that the Celts were getting too old and the 76ers just plain had too much talent, he watched them fall behind the Sixers 3-1... and then win 3 in a row, on their way to title #10. The next year he went to college, the Celtics got even older, and Chamberlain went to LA. The Celts finished 4th in the east and looked shot... until the playoffs started. They muscled past the rest of the east and into LA where they lost the first 2 games. He then bet the biggest mouth in his frat $10 (a lot of money for a broke college kid back then) that the Celtics would win, straight up. He won that bet. 
 
Over those years, his Dad had taken him to three games at the Garden... in 1960 to see the Syracuse Nationals (a GREAT team with Schayes, Yardley, Barnett etc.), in 1961 to see the new threat on the block, Wilt Chamberlain, with the Philadelphia Warriors, and finally in 1966 to see the 76ers, also with Wilt. The Sixers would win that incredible game at the end (Russell fouled out with 2 minutes to go) and knock the Celts out of first place. They would, incredibly, finish 2nd in the east that year by one game, behind Philly. The kid remembered seeing Syracuse as a 9-year-old and fearing them... and now they were the 76ers... and now they were in first place. The disappointment didn't last long... the Celtics blew them out of the playoffs that year. 
 
He was listening to the kitchen radio in his bathrobe as Havlicek stole the ball to save the Celtics against the Sixers the year before. Several years past, he had seen (in a rare TV broadcast) the great Frank Selvy miss a jumper at the buzzer that would have given LA the title... and then he watched Russell and four guards (all of Boston's forwards had fouled out) win in overtime. The memories of big plays and big games seemed endless. 
 
In the end, he had heard and watched his team win 10 championships in 11 years while growing from a 3rd-grader to a college freshman. Life for the kid entailed a lot of schoolwork back then, but the Celtics still made an indelible positive impression on his formative years. They had even inspired the shy kid from a hockey town to become a basketball player, and a pretty good one at that, and remain one long into his adult life. Of course, I know all this because (as you knew) I was that kid. Thanks Red! Oh.. and thanks Dad... you got me interested in the first place, like you did with so much! 
 
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