“Don’t look back”, Sachel Paige used to say, “something might be gaining on you;” or in this case—those lights might be the torches of the mob chasing you. I gotta admit it is a first—my post on the Celtics’ owners Brown, drew not one, but two, comments far more extensive than my original post. Both were protesting my treatment of John Y. Brown, and both brought out valid points. I believe they deserve their views be given equal exposure so I recommend you read them here. Do I still believe that the John Brown ownership of the Celtics served the team poorly, indeed I do; but I likely stepped over the line bringing up his marriages. That I felt his fortune served him better in politics and courting, while true, is a poor reason to connect it (even in contrast) to his Celtics’ association.
Dateline: September 10, 2012––20 days until the start of training camp!
I deserve to be taken to task for violating my mother’s advice “if you can’t say something nice, …;” and John, son of former owner John Y. Brown, responded to my inclusion of his mother:
Which brings me back to my mother. My mother and father divorced about the same time he bought part of the Boston Celtics. During that time, I can count on one hand the unpleasant comments she’s made about my dad—and she was married to him for 17 years! As for crude, crass and outright incredulous remarks made Celtic fans during that same time span? I can’t count that high. And you all only had to deal with him for 2 years!
So what does all this mean to me? I’m not entirely sure. The sins of the father, including those
involving unwise professional basketball team trades and public disagreements with Red Auerbach, are not supposed to be visited on the son.. Certainly, I suppose I can at least say I am grateful my father married a gracious and charming Southern woman and not the city of Boston. Maybe I just needed to finally vent and say my piece after all these years. With the small hope that it may keep my Google Alerts from being as clogged by catty comments about my father not befitting fans of the greatest basketball franchise in history.
The second epic comment took umbrage that I slurred John about his contributions to Kentucky and his ownership of the Colonels. Now I only said he financed his run for Governor, nothing about how he performed in that position, and indeed he did fold the Colonels receiving $3M when he could have joined the NBA by paying $3M; but the commenter, Linda, did have a different slant of those proceedings:
Now as far as the Colonels go, he did not run them out of town, into the ground, kill them or anything else you might want to say. It was the city of Louisville that killed Colonels and ran JYBJr to Boston. Maybe the Celtics shouldn’t have been for sale.
JYBJr was willing to pay the fee to join the NBA. He was more then happy to pay HIS money for the team and the fans. However, JYBJr asked the City of Louisville and the drum beaters to put up a few hundred thousand dollars in good faith. It was not much but I can’t remember the exact number at this time. The City Fathers refused and JYBJr sold the team. After what this man had done for the City, the fans and the state they had the nerve to to tell him no. If they had supported him, we would not have just built our first arena here, we would have been building our second or third. We know our basketball in this city and state and we had a very good team and a very good thing.
Linda, I long long ago gave up the bad taste over John Brown’s Celtics’ days (although mouthwash is never a bad idea). There might even be a case for Brown having saved the Celtics since the owner with which he swapped franchises, Levine, moved his club to the other coast. However as examples of meddlesome owners who make management’s job more difficult, I stand by John Y. Brown and Paul Gaston as representative. I’m glad Kentucky is proud of their former governor, and their basketball, but I am also glad that neither John nor Paul (nor any of the other Beatles for that matter) is currently involved with the Green.
Boston, and all points beyond