THE SHORT SEASON: A Boston Celtics Diary 1977-1978 by John Powers

THE SHORT SEASON: A Boston Celtics Diary 1977-1978

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It was the worst season in Celtic history, a slow bleed in which ""The only constant [was] the losses."" White sulked and quit, Heinsohn was fried, Hondo played his last games. Only the Nets' record was grimmer. Boston Globe writer Powers reconstructs the won-lost columns, but how much can you say about a wake? At Buzzards Bay there were contract hold-outs and the usual jockeying for bench rights but no untoward omens. Once the season started, the team was plagued by injuries, sudden trades, lack of spirit--no resemblance to the championship squads of years past. The losses piled up--no win on the road in ten months; and at the Christmas party, only White and Havlicek showed up. Cowens said they had tried all the ways to lose. Heinsohn said that memories of games were like Bigfoot: ""we see the footprints in the snow, but we aren't sure we left them."" Sanders replaces him, substituting poise for volatility. But except for a few bright wins, everyone hors the death rattle; last-quarter bungles multiply, and post-mortems continue. Powers is a fine recorder of all this agony, bafflement, and chagrin, but he doesn't try to elevate its overall importance. No monumental inscription here--just a fitting epitaph.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1979
Publisher: Harper & Row