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July 28, 2017

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PAGE 16 BOSTON POST-GAZE'I-I'E, JULY 28, 2017 Sonny Could be Sunny There was a Lighter Side to Lbton enough to paralyze his oppo- - nents with fear. Sonny grew up in a tough and mean world and he adapted to it by learning how "to be even meaner back to it. He never caught a break. I believe if things had gone a bit differ- enfly for him, he may have been able to adapt to a better life. Unfortunately, every time it ap- peared he just might be turning Sonny plays friend. Santa for a young Sonny and wife Geraldine Sonny Liston was once known as the baddest man on the planet. Often, hewon his fights before the bell even rang for the first-round. His terrifying stare and blood-chilling scowl were Liston makes a boy's day. Liston on his new rug the comer to a new life, his past would catch up to him. It may seem ironic, but the two people Sonny was most relaxed around were priests and children. While in prison, he was befriended by Father Alois Stevens, a Catholic priest, who talked him into taking up boxing. He never forgot his friendship with Fr. Stevens and always looked up to priests after that. Sonny also enjoyed making children smile. He would visit with sick children in hospitals and always made time to stop and smile at kids whom he might happen upon. Deep in- side that very mean and angry exterior Sonny had humanity. It is sad he was never able to feed and develop it. I thought I would share some photos of Sonny Liston that show his softer side. With Jack Nicholson The Liston smile Sonny and Billy Walker Wishes the Post-Gazette a Happy Anniversary LOUIS CAVAGNARO, President Serving the Community for Over 57 Years/ With Davy Jones of The Monkees It's summer and what better nized by the NBA. time that to pull up a seat and Speaking of Bird, only one indulge oneself in a perusal of Celtics player has won both the all things Celtics -- knowing NBA Most Valuable Player Award that the upcoming season will for the regular season and the start earlier this year (October Most Valuable Player Award in 17) and that NBA games will the NBA Finals. Yes, it is Bird be played virtually every day who won .both awards in the through mid-June, same season twice -- in 1984 Well start with Larry Bird, who and 1986. He was also named just happens to hold the team re- the regular season MVP in 1985. cord of triple-doubles (TDs)with Once again, though, one is a whopping 69. His first came on left to wonder how former Celt- November 14, 1979, in a 115-111 ics from earlier decades would victory over Detroit at the Garden have fared. While the regular when he recorded 23 points, season MVP award has existed came away with an impressive since the league started in the 19 rebounds, and dished offfor 1940s, the NBA Finals MVP 10 assists. It was the first season Award wasn't put in place until (1979-1980) that triple-doubles 1969, meaning players on those were officially recognized as an Celtics championship teams in NBA statistic. Bird was named the 1950sand 1960s were never NBA Rookie of the Year for the eligible to win the award, nor 1979-1980 season, were their opponents. Bird's last triple double (in the If you want an iron man, all regular season) came on March Celtics fans have to do is look 15, 1992, in a 152-148 double at John Havlicek. And they overtime triumph over Portland would know directly where to at the Garden. Bird torched the look -- at the court, because nets for 49 points, came away Hondo was always there, lead- with 14 rebounds, and added hag the team in regular season 12 assists, games played with 1,270. Sig- Larry Bird's no. 33 was retired nificantly, he also led the team in a Garden ceremony on Feb- in minutes played (46,471), in ruary4, 1993. He was inducted field goals made (10,513), and into the Basketball Hall of Fame field goals attempted -- a super in 1998. high 23,930. All in all, he scored Who is second? It might stir- a team high 26,395 points. He prise you because he wasn't also scored an additional 3,776 here nearly as long as Bird. points in the playoffs. It is Rajon Rondo, who, while Some 6,539 of those regular second, is a distant runner-up season points came from the with 32 triple-doubles. His first free throw line. Hondo is second came on December 3, 2008 -- to only Paul Pierce (7,989) in some six months after the Cs making shots from the char- won their 17th NBA Champi- ity stripe. He is third in career onship. Rondo had a very even points average with 20.8, be- 16 points, 13 rebounds, and 17 hind both Bird (24.3) and Paul assists in a 114-96 win over In- Pierce (21.8). And yes, when diana at the Garden. His last TD you are in a lot of games, a lot as a Celtic came on December of things can happen. Havlicek 10, 2014, at Charlotte, shortly is the team leader in personal before he was traded to Dallas. fouls, being whistled by the refs He had 12 points, 10 rebounds for 3,281 of them. and 10 assists against the Hor- And when he didn't have the nets that night in a losing effort bail, how good was John Hav- (Charlotte won 96-87). licek? Very good. He was named Antoine Walker, a player we to the NBA All Defensive Team always liked, is third with 13, eight times. He also played in 13 while Paul Pierce, who recently NBA All-Star Games (tied with signed a special contract that Bob Cousy, who also played in enabled him to retire as a Celtic, 13). Havelicek's no. 17 jersey had 10 while with Boston. In all was retired in a Garden ceremo- the years Robert Parrish played ny on October 13, 1978. He was with Boston he only had one inducted into the Basketball on March 31, 1987, when Hall of Fame in 1984. he scored 14 points, had 10 Bytheway, there hasn't been rebounds and 10 assists in a an NBA All Star game in Boston 118-110 victory over Philadel- since January 14, 1964 some phia on Causeway Street. 53 years ago. The West won that It's important to understand contest 11 i- 107. There were that because the triple-double three others in the 1950s (1951, only became an officially rec- 1952 and 1957) with the West ognized stat by the NBA at the winning each of those as well. start of the 1979-1980 season, We don't know why Boston has all NBA players -- including gone more than a half century those who played on the his- without the NBAAII-Star Game. toric Celtics NBA Championship It's long overdue for a return to teams in the 1950s and 1960s the Hub. i are not included on this team Think about delving into Celt- records list. Remember, even a ics history. It is a fascinating single-triple double would get experience-- especially with the a player on the list. Yet Bird's Celtics, one ofonly two teams in TD in that win over Detroit in the NBA (the other is the New 1979 is the first one by a Boston York Knicks) still playing in its player that is officially recog- original franchise city.