DON NELSON ... NBA Finals 1969
Not many remember Don Nelson as a player, but he won five rings with the Celtics wearing No. 19.
The Celtics' dynasty was on its last, and very tired, legs. Red Auerbach had retired three years earlier. True, the Celtics were defending NBA champs, but they had finished fourth in the Eastern Division in 1969.
With Game 7 of the 1969 NBA Finals at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., Lakers owner Jack Kent Cooke ordered the Forum's rafters to be filled with balloons to be dropped when the Lakers clinched the title. The Celtics heard about this. And maybe, so did the basketball gods. How else can you explain Don Nelson's game-winner? A shot that hit the back rim, bounced another five feet, straight up above the rim, only to fall through. The Celtics had their 11th title in 13 years and the Lakers were left with a bunch of balloons.
Nelson gets the bounce
Who: Celtics vs. Lakers
What: 1969 NBA Finals
Where: The Forum, Inglewood, Calif.
When: Game 7, game tied at 106-106