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Imagine for a moment a top 15 player in the NBA was given the rights by his team to come and film a movie in which he plays for the Celtics. Think of James Harden today. Now what if I told you this actually took place?

It did in a movie called Amazing Grace and Chuck, and why there's so little coverage on it today is beyond me. I remember seeing this film a long time ago when NBA Star Alex English, playing the role of Amazing Grace Smith, suited up wearing #31 for the Boston Celtics. I remembered it to this day, but hadn't seen it in forever. And now here it is. Yes that's the real Jerry Sicthing and Rick Carlisle and Andrew Toney and Danny Vranes defending Amazing Grace. Red Auerbach even makes an appearance.

This happened during a preseason game on Friday October 10, 1986, with the Celtics as defending champs.   The Nuggets granted English the right to play for the Celtics for the purposes of this movie.  English played the first 2:28 of the second quarter and left to a huge ovation!  Here's the vintage clip:

The movie itself, is about a little league pitcher Chuck, who doesn't want to play baseball anymore after learning about nuclear weapons. Grace Smith is a star basketball player for the Celtics, who learns of this, and decides he is going to give up playing as well. For Alex, it was a bizarre experience, as he recalls:
“It was kind of weird,” English said of wearing a Celtics uniform in the movie, despite playing in real life for the Denver Nuggets. “The best experience was just being here in the summertime for a week and a half. Auerbach was still here. I was hanging out with him for a few minutes. That was good. He was always respectful of my game.” “The character I played was a 3-point shooter, and I’m not a 3-point shooter,” English said. “I put them up. When you look at the movie, they all go in. I think I only made one.”
Here's an awesome blurb about the game:
And here's the famous boxscore itself!
Frankly if I was coach KC Jones that night, I definitely would've wanted to play English more than Fred Roberts.

I loved Alex English as a kid. A big-time player, it was really cool to see this footage. So enjoy it. And don't expect to see James Harden anytime soon filming a movie during a preseason game at the TD Garden.

tb727 12/28/2012 02:06:00 PM Edit
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