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As the Sports Hayes astutely pointed out several months back, "imagine Kelly Olynyk playing the trombone at half-court while the rest of the team gets ready for the second-half?"  This is essentially what former Celtic Tony Lavelli did.  In one of the most unusual stories you'll ever hear, Lavelli dabbled between playing for the Boston Celtics- and playing his accordion. 

He only decided to sign with the Celtics if they paid him an extra $125 a game to play his accordion at halftime for home games at the Boston Garden and certain road contests.

 Watch this video by Barry Mitchell for an excellent synopsis:



NBA basketball was in its infancy stages at the time and some actually credit Lavelli for helping keep the floundering Celtic organization relevant.  He would play the accordion in his uniform because he didn't have enough time to change.  He would typically play pieces such as "Granada" or "Lady of Spain" before booking it to the locker room.

Tony went on to play for the Knicks so he could begin attending school at Juliard.  If you watched the video above he also played against the Harlem Globetrotters.

Any for any diehard Celtics or Lavelli or accordion fans out there, there's this listing on Ebay: a Tony Lavelli record for just $9.00.

Tony passed away from a heart attack back in 1998.  But his unique impact on the franchise will never be forgotten.

tb727 12/21/2014 10:52:00 PM Edit
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