Today we remember Tommy Heinsohn and the 1974 Boston Celtics.
Here are some series highlights from our “I remember Ed McCauley” correspondent:
Despite being the #1 seed in the east that year, ahem, the Celtics were underdogs against what some considered the emerging GOAT, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Jabbar, of course, played alongside an aging but wiley Oscar Robertson, and an under-rated Bobby Dandridge.
Tommy recalls the team’s elation and underdog status in an excellent years-later piece by a Milwaukee journalist that includes reminiscences from both teams:
“We were David and they were Goliath,” Tommy recalled. “You just can’t get more satisfying.”
John Havlicek was the series MVP, but in many ways you could have given a co-MVP to Big Red, Dave Cowens.
Cowens contained Jabbar and played — well, you have to just go watch him — but he played like Marcus Smart on PED’s with a few extra inches and a reliable outside shot.
Cowens drove Jabbar crazy, and, imho, outplayed him…. taking nothing from Jabbar’s greatness at scoring.
Sadly, most of the game tapes (CBS) are lost — but luckily, game 7’s Celtic victory was saved:
Note that Red Auerbach, Washington-DC area native, was still running the show for the Celtics, and hopefully his spirit will be present tonight.
Celtic fans, if you’re in DC for the game, there’s a group that may meet up at one of Red’s fave restaurants after the game, win or lose.
Cigars are hoped for, but optional.