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RE: Bird vs Russell

Mike Dynon and Bob Miller, 
     Thanks very much for those excellent posts on the Celtics' past.
What a wonderful (and welcome) change from the pros and cons of having
(or not having) A. Walker on the team!
While I don't qualify as an NBA veteran, I remember one game from the
90s, when Bird was on his last legs as a Celtic. It was a regular season
game against the Portland Trail Blazers (I think the year those guys
made it to the finals). The clock was winding down (it was the last
possession of the game), Celts down by 3, but inbounding. Bird gets the
ball, dribbling to the top left-hand corner of the court, just outside
the 3-point line, clock looking like it's going to expire any second
now, the defender (Drexler? Cliff Robinson?) not giving an inch, oh God,
we are not going to make it, when Bird just ups and lets the ball go

Swish! nothing but net - it's a 3-pointer!!! Game tied, we're into OT!
Man, was his foot close to the line - referees discussing it while
replays are being flashed on the screen. Basket counts, however. 

At the end of the first OT, Celts down by 2. A replay of the last few
seconds of the fourth quarter, but this time, Kevin Gamble gets open
right on the baseline. A long shot, come on, drop damn it before I get a
heart attack, and man, did he get nothing but net!! Second OT!! in which
the Celts run away with the game. Bird had 30+ points in the game, bad
back and all. 

>From: 	Mike Dynon[SMTP:mdynon@ix.netcom.com]
>Sent: 	30 July 1998 22:34
>To: 	Josh Ozersky
>Cc: 	celtics@igtc.COM
>Subject: 	Re: Bird vs Russell
>Josh Ozersky wrote:
>> Maybe it would help if some of you veteran fans described what
>> Russell's game was like.  I've seen footage of him teaching defense,
>> but he was already retired.  Is it true that he waited until a guy
>> shot to leave his feet?  What was he like on offense?  Is there
>> anybody today who reminds you of parts of his game?  How could
>> somebody get 55 rebounds in a game?    What was his passing like?
>> (this is one I've always wondered about)
>> Let's hear some stories!
>> Josh
>Guess I qualify as a "veteran fan"--I began following the NBA in the
>mid-60s--so here are some stories.
>I saw both Russell and Bird play in person dozens of times, and on TV a
>zillion times.  Larry is a Legend, but Russ was the supreme winner of
>all time.  He won titles in college (2), the Olympics and the pros (11
>of 13).  He never lost a Game 7.  He wasn't a scorer, but in the 7th
>game of the '62 finals he had 30 pts., 40 rebs.  He was the first agile
>big man, who could outquick the strong guys and outjump the quick guys
>(I have a picture of him blocking Wilt's finger-roll; the ball is 6
>inches out of Wilt's hand and Russ is stretched completely vertical). 
>Russ was an intelligent intimidator who excelled in psyching out the
>Although I grew up in Brooklyn, I was a Celtics fan from the beginning,
>and would go to the old Madison Square Garden on W. 50th St. whenever
>Boston came in.  I distinctly remember a game in the mid-60s where the
>Knicks led by 14 with 8 minutes left when the NY coach inserted 12th man
>Dave Deutsch.  Ah, but it wasn't garbage time yet.  The Celts made a big
>comeback, and with seconds left Russell (!) made a sweeping hook from
>the left of the lane to win it.
>In 1968, I enrolled at Boston Univ., in large part because it's in
>Boston (hey, I had to be somewhere).  It was 1968-69, Russell's last
>season, and tickets were plentiful.  I went to probably 20 reg. season
>games and every playoff game.
>The Celts were old that season--Russ, Sam, Bailey Howell were all on
>their last legs--and other teams were on the rise.  The Bullets had
>ROY/MVP Wes Unseld; Philly had Cunningham, Greer and Chet Walker; NY had
>just traded for DeBusschere and was one year away from winning a title;
>and the Lakers had traded for Wilt and still had West and Baylor at
>their peak.  The Celts finished 4th in the east at 48-34, they did not
>have the homecourt in any series, and everyone outside Boston thought
>the dynasty was dead.
>But Russ (as player-coach) logged more minutes that season than a young
>Havlicek, and averaged 20 reb/game.  The Celts beat Philly in five (with
>three road wins), NY in six (with two one-point victories), and against
>the Lakers (the big favorite with their Big Three) came back from an 0-2
>deficit and won game 7 *in LA.*
>It's funny--Jerry West was known as "Mr. Clutch," but he never got past
>the Celts.  Larry, Magic, Michael, Kareem, Mikan were some of the
>biggest winners in NBA history.  But NO ONE knew how to win like Bill
>Mike Dynon
>North Kingstown, RI
>Are you associated with women's college volleyball? 
>Click here for information about a talented prospect:
>      http://www.netcom.com/~mdynon/Diane1.html