1983-84 Boston Celtics
Dennis Johnson played in another of his former home arenas last night. It was the second time in nine days that DJ got a big welcome home from the fans he left behind. "My goal in the NBA is to play with all 23 teams," said DJ, with a laugh. More seriously, Johnson said, "I think I was pretty much liked here. I talked to (Phoenix coach) John MacLeod today when we had our shooting practice. I believe if you're a friend, you're a friend either way, and I felt the same way after I left Seattle."
The Johnson-for-Rick Robey trade has been extremely unpopular among fans here. The Suns are eight games behind last year's pace, and a lot of people think the DJ trade is the cause. Johnson spent most of the weekend being humble every time a disgusted Phoenix fan would say, "Wish you were still here, DJ." "I think most players probably get that kind of reaction when they come back," said Johnson. DJ was trying to ignore the personal side of last night's Celtics-Suns game. "It's an emotional game for me," he said. "But we also need the win to save a good trip."
DJ played very well against his former Seattle teammates. He had 18 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds in Boston's Kingdome victory.
Coach K. C. Jones took the team out to dinner in Phoenix Saturday night. It was Jones' way of saying "thanks" for making him All-Star coach last month. After last night's victory, Jones needs only two victories to reach the 300 mark . . . Robert Parish finally broke the 10,000-point barrier last night. Meanwhile, the Celtics passed another milestone, by earning the 2000th victory (regular-season and playoff) in franchise history. The Celtics' PR department uncovered the statistic before the San Diego game, and everyone's been on the edge of their seat since . . . Baseball stars Reggie Jackson and Richie Hebner were in attendance last night.