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
My vote for 1-4 version 2 would be, in order, Havlicek, Cousy, DJ, and Ellison, tho my idea of a jersey with LOSCY for a Number has some merit I feel. Discuss?
How about a -3 jersey for Pitino for the "they aren't walking through the door quote for too funny jersey?
I dunno about you guys, but Scal and Antoine #88 are both fantastic selections in my book. Can't go wrong with either. Oh, and Montross.
the "oh that's funny" I would have picked is a jersey with the number, that is retired AS a number, of LOSCY for "Jungle" Jim Loscutof, who's number had already been retired, but they wanted to retire his number too. Now THAT would be a funny, insider joke.
Using Scal here is weak. Very weak. He is "oh that's funny" to pink hats who started following in '08. There are too many good options that would make real C's fans laugh like Pervis Ellison, Joe Forte, Antoine's #88 jersey, or even the Bill Walton #5. I move that you do a second 4 jerseys for the Celtics, because too many legends and too many jokes were passed by. Great series otherwise.
@TheDubz33 Good choices for funny... Antoine's #88 is a great one. You can't deny that a Scal jersey is funny too, though.
2nd choice for gotta have or can't go wrong would have to be Havlicek, the original "... STOLE THE BALL!!!!!"
@Glas Great choice... you can probably make a new list every day with 4 new jerseys and have a good list. In the end, I couldn't put Havlicek above all those titles from Russell
@jjkaralis agree not above Russell, the Real Greatest Bball player, winner, or champion ever, but Hondo is a must for the old school C's fan! Team leader in minutes played, part of the 60's and 70's dynastys, and an honestly nice guy, got to meet him once at a training camp open game and was genuinely nice to a star struck kid. My first favorite player.
The story as I heard it told is Red lit a cigar and said "I guess you all haven't heard of this guy, John Havlicek"i@Jester00 @jjkaralis
As well as being a STEAL as the last player picked in the first round of the draft@Jester00 @jjkaralis
Good stuff John, however I would've replaced Scal with Paul Pierce. This guy is the Boston Celtics. Scal was a cult-hero while in Boston, but he's gone now and with another team. Now if Scal would've ended his career here, I could see that as a reason to get his jersey, but even then I'd still take Pierce over him. Paul resurrected this team from the dead and gave fans a reason to watch through the "dismal years" and then won Finals MVP in 2008 to bring the city it's first O'Brien trophy in over 2 decades. Have to own a Pierce jersey.
@KWAPT Scal is there as our "joke" jersey.... for when you're going for a laugh. I agonized over Pierce for this, but I figured Bird and Russ had to be there before the Pierce jersey. You still can't go wrong with Pierce though... I wouldn't argue that
@JeffProjectSpurs More like the best jersey EVER.
Nice. Awesome idea for a new series!
Personally, I don't see how anyone can go wrong with a Scal jersey...