We’re starting a new series on Crossover Chronicles today. We are going to tell you which four jerseys you’ve got to have as a fan of every team in the NBA. Every week it’s a new division, and every day it’s a new team.
And we’re not just going to list off four popular players in team history. We know that when you’re wearing a jersey, you’re going for a “look.” So every day we’re going to tell you the jersey you’ve got to have, the jersey you can’t go wrong with (in case you can’t find the first one), the jersey that will make people say “Oh, that’s awesome,” and the joke jersey that will have everyone laughing.
We’ll start in the Atlantic Division, because we’ve got the same east coast bias as everyone else. And we’ll start with Boston because we’re going alphabetically.
The Celtics are as rich in history as any team in professional sports. There are probably a dozen jerseys you’ve got to have and plenty more that will fit in every category. But in that crop of wonderful numbers to don, there are a few that stand out.
You Gotta Have
Larry Bird — Number 33 not only brought the Celtics back to prominence, he’s part of the triumvirate that helped rescue the NBA from the dregs of tape delay. For anyone born after 1970, Larry Bird IS the Boston Celtics. If there was a machine that could detect the instant you fell in love with the Boston Celtics, that machine would dispense a #33 jersey for you at that exact moment.
You Can’t Go Wrong With
Bill Russell — #6 is the greatest winner of all time. He may be the most important figure in the team’s history. Russell played 13 years in the NBA. Only twice did he NOT win a championship. No one will ever question you if you walk into Sullivan’s Tap with a 6 on your back.
“Oh, That Is Awesome!”
Tommy Heinsohn— We’ll have to work backwards on this one. If you’ve ever caught the Celtics broadcast of a game on League Pass, then you know Tommy. He’s the ultra-homer color man that’s never met a ref he doesn’t hate with a passion (at least during a game). Celtics fans LOVE Tommy. But he’s much, MUCH more than the loud, bleed-green announcer. Tommy is a Hall of Famer whose #15 hangs from the Garden rafters. He was the 1957 rookie of the year. In Game 7 of the Celtics first championship, Tommy had 37 points and 23 rebounds. Show up rocking a #15 jersey and you’ll get high-fives, and probably a few free drinks.
“Oh, That’s Funny!”
Brian Scalabrine— There are a lot of “jokes” in Celtics history. Scal is actually borderline funny and awesome, depending on who you run into. It wasn’t always that way. When the Celtics first signed Scal, fans expected him to be a contributor off the bench. Eventually, he became the human victory cigar. The anger eventually turned to chants of “SCAL-A-BREE-NEE (clap, clap, clap clap clap)… and Scal eventually turned into the team’s pseudo-mascot. No one walks past in a Scal jersey without getting a chuckle.
There you have it. The four jerseys Celtics fans have got to have. Disagree with us? Let us know who we missed in the comments.
Tomorrow: The New Jersey Nets
Jeff Garcia collaborated on this post