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"IN RONDO WE TRUST"

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Who's the first taxi driver in Celtics history?

Posted by shawn cassidy on August 6, 2013 at 5:15 AM



I thought I would stick with the Cowens theme around  here. If you didn't know already.I thought this was an interesting story.



ESPN BOSTON

Let's see: Dave Cowens was NBA's co-Rookie of the Year in 1971 for the Boston Celtics. He was NBA's MVP in 1973. He was inducted into basketball's Hall of Fame in 1991. And in 1996, he was named to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.

And, for one night, in the mid-1970s, he worked as a Boston cab driver.

"I just wanted to see what it's like," said Cowens, who is 6 foot 9 and about 230 pounds. "I paid $35 to become part of the Independent Taxi Operators Association. As long as you filled up their car at the end of the shift, you get to keep the fares you made."

You've got to be kidding me.


This was during an age where athletes didn't pull stuff like this for publicity or attention, that was the complete opposite for Cowens. This wasn't like Delonte West during the lockout.

"I really wanted to show my buddy around Boston and thought it'd be a cool way and we'd have some fun," said Cowens, born in Newport, Ky. "We picked up a few fares. We took some long routes around the city. And no one recognized me."

Could that happen today?

"That was before cable television, before all these eyes on you off the court," said Cowens, who now works for the Detroit Pistons. "I was a free spirit then."

And did you really leave the sport midseason to sell Christmas trees?

"It was 1976 and I was getting burned out on playing basketball, [general manager] Red Auerbach said, 'If your heart is not into it, go. When you're ready, come on back,' " Cowens said. "So I went to my family farm in Kentucky and sold Scotch Pine trees. I was just exploring other opportunities. But I did return to the court a few months later."

And let's not even discuss this TV commercial for the now-defunct Bradlees discount department stores.

Categories: Celtics Legends Series

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4 Comments

Reply paul
6:01 AM on August 6, 2013 
Don't talk about Bradlees like it's a dead thing. I remember them! Jlil mentioned that Rondo and Cowens have something in common. I think there is something of a free spirit in Rondo too. One difference, though, is that Rondo is really into the celebrity culture, though I think this is because he is a natural entertainer and a very talented one. Cowens wasn't into that. He didn't know why athletes should be put on any pedestal. But he didn't have that flair for showmanship that Rondo has. It's the funny thing about Rondo that he seems to be a loner, maybe even someone who is, at least to some extent, socially dysfunctional, yet one could almost see him breaking out into a song and dance in the middle of the floor and doing it very well! One certainly couldn't imagine any such thing from Cowens. But both seem to be, in a way, proud loners.

When I say that Rondo has a bit of the showman in him, I don't mean what many of his critics, shall we say, to be nice, say about him, ie. that he's too 'flashy'. Some showmanship is all about flash, sizzle and glitter, sure. Every profession has its bogus side. But there's more to it. Watch Charlie Chaplin if one thinks that showmanship can't be crafted, efficient, solid...
Reply Greg
9:08 AM on August 6, 2013 
Rondo wants it on his terms. I admire that about him.
Reply paul
11:25 AM on August 6, 2013 
Greg says...
Rondo wants it on his terms. I admire that about him.


I like it too
Reply shawn cassidy
5:19 PM on August 6, 2013 
What is a Bradless Paul? What would it be like in today's world? I wonder if he was influenced by the movie taxi driver.