7.20.2018

Near Perfection



March 26, 1999
 The UCLA center missed only one shot and scored 44 points, more than the rest of the Bruins put together, to beat Memphis State in 1973.

Bill Walton still remembers the shot.

7.19.2018

Wooden and Walton: A Relationship Remembered




June 6, 2010

Bill Walton arguably was John Wooden’s greatest player at UCLA, and there were several to choose from. Bill Walton inarguably was John Wooden’s greatest pain in the neck, the oil slick on the great basketball coach’s pristine seas.

While playing for Wooden at UCLA from 1971-74, the Helix High graduate became a rebel, a vehement Vietnam War protester, and the coach, who passed away Friday at the age of 99, didn’t exactly find Walton’s political leanings interesting or appropriate. 

7.18.2018

Ainge humble, but Walton provides laughs at Oregon Hall



August 22, 1999
For someone who has rarely been to his home state the past two decades, Danny Ainge knows his Oregon sports history. And he seemed almost overwhelmed to take his place alongside some of the state's greatest athletes.

7.17.2018

Walton's Inside Game



October 28, 2001

Bill Walton, his family and friends are sitting beneath a flapping Grateful Dead banner in the tropical-forest backyard of his San Diego home discussing the day's news. "Oh . . . I . . . love . . . reading . . . the . . . newspaper," Walton says in the same insufferably pompous-sounding voice he uses as a TV basketball analyst.

7.16.2018

Mountain Man Imposes Will

January 23, 1986

Section: SPORTS

CELTICS SUPREME: BIRD, WALTON LEAD PARADE AS LAKERS CRUMBLE, 110-95

Wade Boggs will be hitting .370, John McNamara will be making excuses for his young pitching staff, and graduation gowns will be hanging in New England hallways and closets when the Lakers and Celtics next meet in Boston Garden. Celtic fans can hardly wait.

7.15.2018

Bill Walton: The Old Revolutionary




Bill Walton: The Old Revolutionary

March 14, 1996

What 20 years have done is simply alter the shell. The old revolutionary looks a bit different now. The scraggly beard, raggedy jeans and slogan-emblazoned T-shirts have long ago been replaced by a clean-shaven face and a slick, expensive blazer.

But the soul is unchanged. Bill Walton still values the voice of dissent.

7.14.2018

The 1977 Trailblazers: A Bunch of Role Players and Bill Walton



February 20, 1994 Sunday

The NBA championship Portland Trail Blazers of 1976-77 were mostly consummate role players: enforcer Maurice Lucas and sharpshooter Bob Gross up front, ultra-smooth Lionel Hollins and scrappy Dave Twardzik at the guards. But in the middle was the one great player championship squads need-the brilliant Bill Walton, 6 feet 11 inches worth of red hair and genius.

7.13.2018

Ramsay, Wooden, and Walton



June 6, 2010

It was always startling, never surprising, for the high school coach to look up and see the historic but humble man in the corner of the gym, doing what he loved. That would be watching young people practice basketball.

Tim Wolf found his way to the bench at Martinsville High 23 years ago and soon after discovered that one of the great coaching perks in America came with the job. John Wooden, a Los Angeles institution but an Indiana lifer, loved to come home.

7.12.2018

Walton and Wooden Reunite



March 25, 1994
The old guy and the middle-aged redhead have been some duo.

One molded young men into the greatest winning tradition his sport has ever known. The other became the best player in America.

John Wooden and Bill Walton. Is it really 20 years since they took their act to the top of the polls? 

7.11.2018

DJ Hits Game Winner

DJ Hits Game 4 Game Winner

June 6, 1985

INGLEWOOD, Calif.

File this one away with all the rest. Open up the dusty books and run your finger down the index for "Big Games: Victorious" and insert the night of June 5, 1985.

7.10.2018

Lakers, Lakers, and more Lakers

 October 12, 1991

The Lakers last night. The Lakers tonight. The Lakers next week.

The Celtics and Lakers play three times in 11 days in the exhibition season. "That tells me one thing," said Robert Parish. "Someone is making a lot of money off of us."

The last time these teams saw so much of each other was in 1985. They went at it four times, and in the last meeting, Parish and Maurice Lucas got into a fight.

Could familiarity again breed such contempt? Parish was asked.

"Nah," the Chief said. "Maurice Lucas was a bully. Period. They don't have any bullies on that team."

Three down

John Bagley (eye), Brian Shaw (knee) and Kevin McHale (foot) were unable to go for the Celtics. That will again hold true for tonight's tilt at the Worcester Centrum . . . Stojko Vrankovic wheezed his way through 28 minutes and had 12 rebounds. He also had four goaltending violations. Parish played the other 20 minutes at center, and that means a DNP for Joe Kleine. "Joe will get his minutes," coach Chris Ford said.

7.09.2018

Larry Returns to Action . . . Against the Lakers



October 12, 1991
Nice week. The Bruins were trying to score just one goal, the Patriots were contemplating changing the locks at Foxboro Stadium and the Red Sox gave us Morgan's Memorial and The Return of the Gerbil.

It was left to Larry Bird to wash away the pain and the fears of this wicked week. Has he ever let you down? 

7.08.2018

All of a Sudden Pierce Struggling



March 10, 1999

   CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Paul Pierce has found a curious way of celebrating his selection as Rookie of the Month for February. March has come in like a lion and become a lion-eater.

In the last eight days, Pierce has (a) gone 0 for 11 against the Cavaliers, (b) been outplayed in a media-hyped mano-a-mano with Toronto's Vince Carter, and (c) submitted a 10-minute goose egg against the Hornets. The last deed has a qualifier: He sprained his right ankle and didn't play in the second half last night. 

7.07.2018

Silas Replaces Cowens in Charlotte

Image result for crowns silas celtics

March 9, 1999
   CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Dave Cowens wasn't answering the telephone yesterday. His wife, Deby, said her husband was going to "let it ride out a bit" before talking about his sudden resignation as coach of the Charlotte Hornets.

7.06.2018

Lakers Punch Back

May 31, 1985

Section: SPORTS

LAKERS GET SPLIT DECISION CELTICS ON THE ROPES, 109-102

The euphoria of Boston's Memorial Day Massacre vanished early in the evening. Led by a proud, 7-foot-2-inch center who has been part of America's hoop scene since 1963, the Los Angeles Lakers took charge early last night, roared to an 18-point halftime lead, and held off a late Boston rally. By the time the Celtics delivered their midnight confessions, LA had a 109-102 Game 2 victory and a 1-1 Garden split.

7.05.2018

This Time Bird was the Sissy

June 3, 1985

Section: SPORTS

CELTICS' MISSING PERSON LOOKING TO FIND HIMSELF

INGLEWOOD, Calif.

He stood at the same plywood locker stall a year ago and ripped his teammates. He said they were not playing hard enough or tough enough. He said they were "a bunch of sissies."

7.04.2018

Celtics Raise Hand from the Grave

June 8, 1987

Section: SPORTS

UNSTOPPABLE? NOT SO FAST

They were in the strangest of positions. They were straight men and character actors, back-up singers to the stars. Window dressing. The Boston Celtics were the defending basketball champions of the world but somehow they had become so much window dressing.

Until yesterday.

7.03.2018

C's Down L's at Forum for First Time in Five Years

February 16, 1991

Section: SPORTS

CELTICS' DAZZLE FRAZZLES LAKERS

INGLEWOOD, Calif.

Something special is happening out here. The Celtics are three time zones away and doing some eerie things while most of New England sleeps.

7.02.2018

The Celtics Remind Walton of UCLA



THE Boston Celtics didn't want Bill Walton to feel they were in any way skeptical about his past quests into the counter-culture, so they went out of their way to extend a gracious welcome when he joined the team this September.

Larry Bird, for example, ambled up to Walton at one of the early practices and offered a pleasant, ''Hey, where's the ponytail and the beard?''

7.01.2018

Fakers End the Jynx

Lakers End Celtics' Jynx

June 10, 1985

The bus waits in a dark warehouse area at the back of the Boston Garden. Hub Bus Lines. Bus No. 825. The door is open. The sound of a party can be heard from inside.

This is the Los Angeles Lakers' bus.

"How were these guys when they came to the game?" I ask the driver, a local guy named Rick Ash. "Were they quiet or noisy?"

6.29.2018

Pitino: Pierce has a Tendency to Lose Edge and Float




March 9, 1999
   CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Rick Pitino has a simple request for Paul Pierce: Don't lose the fire.

The Celtics coach saw a decidedly ember-less Pierce Sunday in Toronto and does not want to see one tonight against the Hornets.

6.28.2018

Celtics Force Game 6

June 12, 1987

Section: SPORTS

CELTICS CRASH LAKERS' PARTY THEY COAST TO COAST, 123-108

This one was for the guy in the "Big Bird" suit waving the sign that said "Certified Bird Sanctuary." This one was for the kid walking around as a Celtic ghost.

Auerbach and the '56 Draft

1997

Forty-one years ago, a man who served his team as coach/general manager/marketing director/traveling secretary/business manager pulled off the finest draft in the history of professional sports. And the local media gave it far less play than your average New England Revolution-Dallas Burn game of 1997.

6.27.2018

Purple End Green Streak

Lakers End Celtics 48-Game Streak

December 13, 1986

Section: SPORTS

LAKERS STOP CELTICS

Hey, Celtics junkie. Get your face up off that floor. Don't put the match to that stock certificate. Stop looking for that Bruins schedule. The Celtics lost at home, but life will go on.

6.26.2018

Preseason Jottings

1983-84 Boston Celtics

There was no news yesterday on the Parish front. Celtic assistant GM Jan Volk did not talk to Parish or his agent, Wayne Traynham. GM Red Auerbach has been in Washington for several days and plans to return to his Boston Garden office today. Auerbach was asked if he'd started searching for another center and replied, "I don't worry about it yet. When I'm sure nothing can be done, I'll start looking. Right now, I'm just watching the World Series."

The Lakers are taking some heat locally for Monday's trade which sent guards Norm Nixon and Eddie Jordan, plus one or two draft selections (depending on how much Swen Nater plays) to San Diego in exchange for backup center Nater and rookie guard Byron Scott. Nater has played 28 games in two years since breaking his right kneecap. The Lakers expect him to backup Abdul-Jabbar, who signed a two-year, $1.5 million per year contract Monday (Abdul-Jabbar isn't playing yet due to a case of viral hepititas). Scott was the first guard selected in last year's draft (fourth overall). The Clippers hadn't signed him, but the Lakers have agreed to give him a four-year deal worth $1.75 million. He averaged 21.6 points per game last year at Arizona State.

6.25.2018

Lakers Cruise

June 3, 1987

Section: SPORTS

LAKERS BREAK CELTICS' BACKS LA RUNS BOSTON DOWN

INGLEWOOD, Calif.

How do they put it in legal shop talk? "Worst Case Scenario"?

It was worse than worse. It was a horrifyingly Worst Case Scenario at the Forum last night when the Celtics found themselves used as foils for one of the great fast break exhibitions ever seen in the NBA playoffs. The Lakers scored the game's first 9 points and never allowed the game to get any closer than 12 in the final 34 minutes as they cruised to a 126-113 victory in Game 1 of the best-of-seven NBA Finals.

6.24.2018

We Have a Jerry West Sighting

October 13, 1991
There was a verified Jerry West sighting at the Centrum last night. That, in itself, speaks either for the attraction of Paris or some latent love for Worcester.

West, the Lakers' can-do general manager, never travels. Not when it matters, anyway. 

6.23.2018

Lakers Win Battle of Good v. Great

December 16, 1989

Section: SPORTS

LA'S FOURTH GEAR STALLS CELTICS LAKERS ASSERT SUPERIORITY

Some rivalries never die, and the Celtics vs. the Lakers may well be one of them.

Let's just say the "Beat LA" chant is terminally ill.

The Garden crowd was reduced to a whisper last night by the Lakers, who blew open the game in the fourth quarter, then cruised off the parquet with a 119-110 win.

6.22.2018

Junior, Junior Sky-Hook Dooms Boston

June 1987

It was a process that required almost surgical skill. Down by a point, seven seconds left. Sixteen banners above, deadwood below. Nothing could help them here, not the witches of Eastwick or even Jack Nicholson himself. Nothing but a sneak punch to the gut.

6.21.2018

Lakers End Celtics Season

June 1987

INGLEWOOD, Calif.

The walk to the locker room was through the celebration. The tired faces had to cut through the sea of smiles.

Down a hallway. Past the line of mini-cams. Past the room where the champagne already was being opened. Through the celebrities -- look, there's Sammy Davis -- and around a corner. Past a television set.

6.20.2018

LA Prevails Again

February 19, 1990

Section: SPORTS

A RUNNING STORY: LA PREVAILS AGAIN

INGLEWOOD, Calif.

The game plan was being followed to a textbook T. Turnovers? A manageable seven at intermission, a nice complement to a half in which the Celtics shot 63 percent from the floor.

Did someone mention shooting? In the first eight minutes of the third quarter, Boston hit 90 percent of its jumpers.

And lost the lead.

The game, too.

6.19.2018

Another Last-Second Shot by Magic Secures Lakers' Victory

December 12, 1987

Section: SPORTS

MAGIC STUNS CELTICS LAST-SECOND HOOP LIFTS LA, 115-114

Is there a longer second or second and a half in sports? Team A by a point. Man from Team B lets fly with the basketball, and by the time the ball either does or doesn't go in the basket, the buzzer will have sounded and the game will be over. All control of the game passes to a higher authority. And isn't the suspense heightened when the identity of the player from Team B is Earvin (Magic) Johnson and the identity of Team A is the Boston Celtics, and the game is being played in Boston Garden?

6.18.2018

36-12 Run Falls Short

February 15, 1988

Section: SPORTS

LAKERS BREAK AWAY FROM CELTICS

INGLEWOOD, Calif.

The moral of the story is: Hang around long enough, you'll see everything.

In this particular case, you'd see the Lakers impose a suffocating first-half defense that triggers a 20-point (64-44) halftime lead. Next you'd see the Celtics play a Michelangelo of a third period, wiping out the deficit with a 36-12 whomping that sends them into the final period leading by 4 (80-76). Finally, you'd see the Lakers demonstrate why they are defending champions (with the best chance to repeat in recent memory) by charging out of the fourth-quarter box with runs of 9-0 (in the first 1:44), 17-4, 20-7 and 31-11, all of which leads to a 115-106 victory in a game that will find its way high onto any list of "Oddities" in this historic rivalry.

6.17.2018

Bob Cousy: The Tri-City Hawk

The Bob Cousy Series: Part 4Pro basketball was barely out of the dusty barn stage when Cousy graduated from Holy Cross. The dominant team as the 1950 draft approached was Minneapolis, featuring the same 6-9 George Mikan who had been a college star at DePaul. The Lakers had won the championship the previous two seasons.

6.16.2018

Suns Down C's in Exhibition Opener

1983-84 Boston Celtics

No, this doesn't mean the Celtics can't win without Robert Parish. Don't panic and/or beg Red Auerbach to cave in and start singing "Hail to the Chief." The Celtics lost to the Phoenix Suns, 117-114, on the Arizona State campus last night because coach K.C. Jones was willing to do what Ralph Houk wouldn't do - give the kids a shot.

Against Phoenix' formidable starting five, Jones had at least three rookies on the floor for the entire final quarter. Carlos Clark (seven points) and John Schweitz showed some cool and Greg Kite (nine fouls and no points in two games) banged around underneath, but it wasn't enough to overcome the high-wire act of Larry Nance (25 points), or the sledgehammer tactics of Maurice Lucas (17 points).

Phoenix led, 113-106, wih 2:25 left, but Scott Wedman (16 points, 7 of 10 from the floor), Charles Bradley and Clark led a late drive by the Celtics. With Phoenix leading by one point in the closing seconds, Kite rebounded a Walter Davis miss and fed Clark near midcourt. Clark hesitated, then double-dribbled. "Carlos got a little overanxious," said Jones. "But that's going to happen with a rookie."

Two free throws by Davis set the final score. The Celtics led for most of the first half thanks to a stellar effort by Larry Bird. Bird scored 20 of his team-high 22 in the first half and brought everyone out of their seats with a dazzling, 360-degree spinning layup in traffic. In 25 minutes, Bird had seven rebounds and eight assists. Kevin McHale played 27 minutes at center and scored 14 with four rebounds.

6.15.2018

Bob Cousy: The Early Days

Bob Cousy: The Early Days

Part 2 of the Bob Cousy Series

When Cousy first began to play basketball, on the asphalt playgrounds of St. Albans in Long Island, N.Y., he wasn't considered good enough to make the junior varsity as a 12-year-old at Andrew Jackson High School.

Until that age, he had lived on the East Side of New York, where his father drove a cab and where only French was spoken in the house for his first five years.

6.14.2018

Before Magic, There Was the Cooz

The Bob Cousy Series: Part 1

Bob Cousy played with fire and emotion. He left basketball fans with something to remember every time he walked on the court.

Cousy dressed James Naismith's dowdy YMCA game in brand new clothes. There were great players before Cousy's time, plenty of them, but none with his flair.

6.13.2018

McHale Discusses KG and the Grassy Knoll Rumors

2/08/2008

McHale Discusses KG and the Grassy Knoll Rumors

MINNEAPOLIS - Did you hear the one about how Kevin McHale traded Kevin Garnett to the Celtics just because he liked Danny Ainge?

McHale did - and he's still laughing.

6.10.2018

Celtics Beat Heat, Now 13-2

12/1/2007

MIAMI - Temperatures here were in the 80s yesterday. And inside air-conditioned American Airlines Arena, it got even hotter for the Celtics last night when they cooled off in the fourth quarter.

After leading by as many as 25 points, the Celtics overcame a cold spell before holding on for a 95-85 win over the Miami Heat. Boston entered the fourth with a 83-61 lead. The Heat, however, sliced the lead to 7, before succumbing.

6.09.2018

Catching Up with Wally

12/23/2007

On the night of the 2007 NBA draft, Wally Szczerbiak wanted to chill out. He didn't even plan on watching the festivities from New York. His focus was to continue rehabbing from a major ankle operation in the spring and be ready for what he thought would be his second full season with the Celtics.

Oh, well.

6.08.2018

C's Rebound from Loss, Flaten Bulls

12/22/2007

The Celtics starters got another early rest and were all smiles on the bench. The game was a usual blowout at TD Banknorth Garden. And the beloved Gino, the Celtics' human victory cigar, was grooving again on the JumboTron after missing the previous game.

6.07.2018

Gary Payton Wants to Join C's

12/21/2007

WALTHAM - Ex-Celtics point guard Gary Payton watched on television from his Las Vegas home Wednesday night as his former team lost to the Pistons. And once Chauncey Billups hit the winning free throws with a tenth of a second remaining, Payton called his agent.

6.06.2018

Pistons-Celtics Means Something Again

12/20/2007

It was like hearing a song that reminds you of an old flame, or maybe walking past a bakery and smelling a pie that takes you back to happy days in the kitchen of your youth.

6.05.2018

Pistons Hand C's First Home Loss

12/20/2007

The Celtics' locker room was quiet. Pin-drop quiet. Heads were down. You would have thought the season was over.

But the feeling of winning has been so fulfilling, so beautiful, that the taste of defeat, even if it was just for the third in 23 games, was awful and tart. And it made them appreciate the winning so much more.

6.04.2018

Celtics Prepare for Ali-Frazier I

12/19/2007

WALTHAM - The last time the Celtics played Detroit, they were taken about as seriously as a Carrot Top memoir might be by the Pulitzer Prize review board.

6.03.2018

Allen Injured Ankle a While Back

12/19/07

WALTHAM - Ray Allen looked great at practice yesterday.

"He was standing there, right beside me most of the time, so he looked phenomenal," coach Doc Rivers joked. "He didn't do too much. We didn't want him to do a lot of cutting and running. He'll be fine for [tonight's game]. He said he feels great. I don't know if it's true or not."

6.02.2018

20-2

12/17/2007

TORONTO - The Celtics' top-ranked defense made the Raptors' offense colder than it was outside the Air Canada Centre on this snowy day.

6.01.2018

New C's look familiar to Heinsohn

12/18/2007

Paul Pierce is in his 10th season with the Celtics, which means he's heard a lot of glory stories from Tommy Heinsohn. As a student of the game's history, Pierce enjoyed the dissertations, but, considering the position of his own teams, he didn't have tales to trade.

5.31.2018

Posey, House Lead C's to 15th Win

12/6/2007

PHILADELPHIA - The Celtics entered yesterday with the best defense in the NBA. But if you didn't know better, you probably wouldn't have guessed that last night.

5.30.2018

Magic Johnson Praises New Three

12/10/2007

There was no team that former Lakers star Magic Johnson despised more during his playing days than the Celtics. The five-time NBA champion had a heated rivalry with ex-Celtics great Larry Bird, and his Lakers beat Boston in the Finals twice in three meetings in the 1980s.

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