You will not believe this Celtics fan's stories. You just won't.
The Boston Celtics boast a rich history that began in 1946 and has continued with seventeen championships and millions of memories.
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Profile: Mike Dynon, 64 year old born and raised in Brooklyn (like Red Auerbach), now residing in North Kingstown, RI
This is my 50th season of being a Celtics fan. Started following during Red’s last season as coach, 1965-66.
Back in the day my best friend, Joe, read a Sports Illustrated article about how Frank Ramsey used clever moves on the court to draw fouls and get the best of his opponents. Joe decided he liked Ramsey and became a Celtics fan. Since Joe and I did everything together, I became a Celtics fan too. Living in New York City, we began going to the old Madison Square Garden as often as possible when the Celtics played the Knicks. Admission was $1 with our high school IDs. Joe and I remain best friends and we’ve gone to many games over the years, in Boston and elsewhere.
Part of the reason I attended Boston University was so I could go to the Boston Garden. After graduating, I was working in New York City when a career opportunity developed to transfer to Rhode Island, and I took it in part to move close to Boston.
While in college, a friend of a friend invited me to play poker with him and his neighbors: JoJo White and Steve Kuberski. They lived in an apartment building in the suburbs and the game took place at Kuberski’s dining room table. No one made a big deal about them being Celtics, so – wanting to fit in – I didn’t either. I lost $30 for the night and it was worth it.
Probably the craziest game I’ve attended was in 1972. Celts led by 43 after three quarters, then hung
on to win by 8 as the Buffalo Braves scored 58 in the 4th. And that was before the NBA adopted the 3-point shot. Heinsohn was the coach and was FUMING on the bench.
In 1978, working in NYC, a coworker and I snuck out of the office and went to the hotel ballroom where the NBA draft was taking place. The event was neither open to the public nor televised, but we talked our way in. (No security problems in those days.) So I was possibly the first Celtics fan in the world to hear the announcement that Boston had drafted Larry Bird.
I attended the final home game of Russell and Sam Jones (1969), Havlicek’s final game (1978) and Bird’s first game (1979). Was at MSG when Sam scored 51 in a playoff game (1967) vs. NY and at Boston Garden when Havlicek scored 54 in the playoffs (1973) vs. Atlanta.
My most intense game in-person was in 1981, playoff Game 5 vs. Philly. The Celts trailed in the series, 3-1, but as we chanted “See you Sunday,” the Cs rallied in the last two minutes to win by two points. That, followed by Boston’s two-point road win in Game 6, did force the Sixers to return to Boston on Sunday, where the Celtics won Game 7 by a single point.
In 1984, my son was 5 when we went to his first game at Boston Garden. The Celts won a thriller on a last-second shot by Bird. My son wanted to stay afterward to meet his favorite player, Robert Parish. We waited by the locker room until security shooed everyone out of Boston Garden. “But I want to see Chief!” my son wailed. The guard took pity and let us stay, with the upshot being we got autographs on our game program from Parish as well as Bird and McHale – the entire Big Three. Still have it.
A few years later, my son and I shot baskets on the Boston Garden parquet during a charity event.
In 1996, I was on business for a couple of days at a Boston hotel – coincidentally, at the same time former Celtics players and coaches were having a private reunion with the Phoenix Suns. They were marking the 20th anniversary of the triple-overtime victory by the Celtics in Game 5 of the finals – the NBA’s greatest game. The banquet room doors were open during the presentations, so I quietly sat in the back watching highlight films, hearing the players’ recollections and soaking up insights.
In 1998, I bought 20 shares of Celtics stock when the franchise did an initial public offering. All shares were later bought back by the team, but the stock certificate remains on my basement wall.
At one point during the Pierce years, I wasn’t sure I’d ever see another banner go up. The turnaround and the 2008 championship, all coming so fast after the KG and Ray trades, made that year possibly my favorite title of all. Felt so good to see the payoff for Paul’s years of loyalty.
Besides seeing the Celts play in Boston and New York, I’ve been to games in Brooklyn, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Indianapolis, Houston and Hartford. Hope to one day see them in Memphis, which is a great destination.
I’ve been married almost 40 years, and my wife has been more than understanding about my fandom.
I admire Bill Russell as a player and person, but my real favorite is Don Chaney because his game resembled my schoolyard skills – couldn’t shoot but played tenacious D. Although Chaney wasn’t a scorer, I luckily attended his top two games for points: 32 vs. the Warriors in Boston and 29 vs. the Knicks in NY. It killed me when The Duck left Boston for the ABA. Even though he returned to the franchise, his number was never retired.
Three fun facts: 1. I have a photo I took of Chaney at the Garden, which he later autographed. 2. Duck was the only Celtic to play with both Russell and Bird. 3. In the mid-70s I named my dog “Chaney.”
Pierce was my most recent favorite, and after he was traded I liked Rondo. Don’t have a true favorite on the current roster, but Bass and Smart are the players I most enjoy watching.
In conclusion, one of my T-shirts displays a quote from Red that sums it all up for me: “The Boston Celtics are not a basketball team, they are a way of life.”
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