8.10.2009

Battle of the Streaks: KC Jones Compares 1982 to 1960


1981-82 Boston Celtics


Celtic assistant coach K.C. Jones was a member of the 1959-60 Celtics that won 17 straight. Naturally, he was asked to compare that team with the current squad, and naturally, he was uncomfortable doing it. "Both teams are good," hedged K.C. "Which one would you rather play for?" he was asked. "I can't deal with that question," said K.C.

"Can you compare their strengths and weaknesses?" "Well, the '59 team was stronger defensively," said KC, "but then I think of (Robert) Parish and (Kevin) McHale and I think this team is very good defensively, too. "This is a better offensive team. This team has Bird and Tiny and Parish, Max and McHale. That team had Sam (Jones), Heinie (Tom Heinsohn) and Cousy.

"This team is more talented."

"Is this a better team?" he was asked.

"I gotta go with this team," said K.C. "But we were a little smarter because we didn't have as much talent as this team." Coach Bill Fitch said general manager Red Auerbach never discussed the streak with him. "Red is of the old school," said Fitch. "He never talked about his streaks. It's like the old superstition with a no-hitter in baseball, you don't talk about it. But we talk about it. Eighteen, 19, 20, we hope it goes on forever."

Longest NBA winning streaks: Los Angeles, 33, 1971-72; Milwaukee, 20, 1870-71; Knicks, 18, 1969-70; Celtics, 17, 1959-60.

Cleveland owner Ted Stepien watched the game on television in Cleveland and called the Cleveland newspapers afterward to announce that he was protesting the officiating to the league office. Nobody else thought the officiating was an issue, but then, a man who may lose $6 million on a basketball team this season has a right to speak his peace.

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