Today, as the Celtics prepare to honor Paul Pierce, we also remember some of the great banners past. Including: Tom Heinsohn, Jo Jo White, and the 1974 Boston Celtics. NBA Champs, and the hoisters of Banner #12.
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.”
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.
Meanwhile White — who would win finals MVP two years later — was steady throughout the series, and came up big in a Game 5 in in Milwaukee.
White scored 18 points and dished out 5 assists. He was also a thorn in the side of Robertson all day.
Game 7 video
Sadly, most of the game tapes (from CBS) are lost.
But luckily, game 7’s Celtic victory was saved, and appears nearby.
Note that Red Auerbach, was still running the show for the Celtics, and hopefully his spirit will be present on Paul Pierce night.
Celtic fans, if you’re in town for the contest, 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.