Celtics pick up the Pistol A mascot picks up a mouse
By acquiring free agent Pete Maravich, the Boston Celtics think they've enhanced their playoff hopes considerably. Twice a National Basketball Association all-pro, Maravich should give the Celtics the backcourt depth and extra firepower they've lacked. But the real question is: Can one of the game's flashiest solo artists fit into Boston's team concept?
The Celtics, of course, are confident that he can. But Boston's recent history of getting name players to adopt the "Celtic style" has not been good (witness failures by Bob McAdoo, Sidney Wicks, Curtis Rowe, and Billy Knight). What might make Maravich different is his newfound humility and desire to play on a championship team. Since coming into the NBA after a high-scoring career at Louisiana State, Pistol Pete has generally upstaged his teammates in Atlanta, New Orleans, and Utah. Differences with Utah Coach Tom Nissalke, however, led to his being benched this season, despite a 17-point scoring average in 17 games. Indicating that Maravich didn't fit into the team's plans, the Jazz placed him on waivers in a move that ultimately led to his arrival in Boston.
When Pete finally suits up in the Celtic green, his biggest challenge may be to avoid disturbing the team's successful chemistry, both on and off the court. Since Nate Archibald currently quarterbacks the team, Maravich will have to operate without the ball, utilize his keen passing sense, and exercise moderation when shooting. The mouse that roamed
At some point or another, most every sports fan has seen a stray dog wander onto the field during a baseball or football game. Man's best friend doesn't have any monopoly on such interruptions, though. The other year a bat dive-bombed the ice during a Philadelphia Flyers' hockey game, and a few weeks ago a mouse scooted across the court during a Cincinnati-Memphis State basketball game in Cincinnati. The contest was delayed five minutes as players from both teams tried to capture the bewildered gate-crasher. Credit for its eventual arrest went to Memphis State's costumed tiger mascot, who picked up the mouse in his paws and received an ovation for escorting him to safety.