Growing up in Boston in the 80s, I was a big Celtics fan. It was hard not to be: it was the team of Danny Ainge, Dennis Johnson, Kevin McHale, Bill Walton (in ’85 and ’86), Robert Parish and of course Larry Bird.
One thing stands out for me about the Celtics in the 80s, more than the ’85 championship team, more than Johnny Most screaming “Now there’s a steal by Bird! Underneath to D. J.! He lays it in!!” when Larry stole the ball and D.J. scored, more than the parquet floor that could fit four quarters in the seams in some places, more than Bill Walton hobbling around the court. It’s when the Celtics lost to the 76ers, at home.
A Boston Garden, packed to the gills with rabid Celtics fans (was there any other kind?), was experiencing a painful, game 7 loss to Dr. J’s Sixers. What did the Celtics fans do? Leave? No. Scream at the Sixers? No. Boo their Celtics? Definitely not.
In unison, the Garden thundered. “BEAT L.A… BEAT L.A… BEAT L.A.”
Classy. I’ve always loved that about Boston sports fans.