A Tiny Little Tale

bill russell boston celtics dave cowens nate archibald Jun 18, 2024

By Paul Roberts

Well, it’s time to brag. My Boston Celtics did it again last night. For the 18th time in NBA history they are the NBA champions, separating themselves from every other NBA franchise. Take that, Lakers fans.

Notice how I referred to them as “my” Celtics? I actually woke up last night after a dream about how I became a Boston Celtics fan. A lot of it had to do with a guy named Tiny. Not the Celtic leprechaun. A different Tiny.

What do these Boston Celtic players have in common, besides suiting up for my Celtics at some point in the 60’s and 70’s when I was young and impressionable: Bill Russell, Dave Cowens, “Tiny” Nate Archibald?

I was already a basketball fan in those days, but with the Celtics on TV all the time, it was easy for me to root for them. But when Tiny Nate the Skate Archibald joined them as their point guard during my senior year at Kellogg High School in 1978, my love affair with the Celts was cemented. I was a point guard too, you see. Tiny was the one who taught me how a point guard was supposed to play.

Allow me to throw a few more “famous names” from my childhood at you as another clue for why Tiny still inhabits my dreams occasionally. Can you name the unique attribute each one of these semi-well known people have in common?

Gail Goodrich, Boog Powell, Artis Gilmore, Kenny Anderson, Avery Johnson, Dick Barnett, Bob Lanier, Chris Mullin, Willis Reed, David Robinson, Damon Stoudamire, Isaiah Thomas, Lenny Wilkins, Steve Young, Boomer Esiason, Kenny Stabler, Jim Zorn, Bobby Douglass, Sandy Koufax, Lefty Grove…

That last one gave it away, didn’t it?

In my very brief but very realistic dream last night, I was celebrating the Celtics win in a crowd somewhere (the Boston Garden, perhaps?) surrounded by other Boston fans, none of whom I knew. I turned, and made eye contact with six-time All-Star, 1981 NBA champion and Hall of Famer Tiny Nate the Skate Archibald. We smiled at each other, and with a note of recognition in his eyes, he gave me a left-handed high five.  

I tossed and turned, a smile on my face, the rest of the night. Go Celtics.


Do you have any childhood “heroes” who have somehow shaped your life? Share with our Grow Me a Story community.

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