Today, all over the web and airwaves there are tributes to DJ. I have been considering writing a tribute going through his life and career, but there are lots of those out there. I feel that my best tribute to DJ was written before he died in this post on Loy's Place where I voiced my indignation over the absolute travesty of DJ's being left out of the Hall of Fame. I still think that when all is said and done, one of the saddest things in all of this is that he wasn't recognized by the Hall of Fame for his career. He certainly deserved it!!
I watched DJ all through the 80's and he was one of my favorite players. He was always so clutch and when the game was on the line, there was none better, including Larry Bird. But playing on a team with Larry, Kevin and Robert, he never got the accolades that were due him. One play has always stood out in my mind as characterizing DJ's career. It was the play in the 1987 playoffs where Bird stole the ball and passed it underneath to DJ for the layup. Most people are familiar with the clip with Johnny Most's call but click here to see the TBS broadcast of the call. What has always impressed me most about this play wasn't the steal or even DJ's presence of mind to cut to the basket for the pass and layup. I was watching the game on TBS and something else in that play caught my attention on that day and has always remained as characterizing DJ and the way he played the game. Watch DJ after the layup. There was 1 second left on the clock and DJ didn't turn to celebrate with his teammates. He turned immediately to cover the inbound pass. Now that is a professional! That is the mindset I hope the current Celtics can eventually develop. I get choked up just thinking about it. How many players in this league would have thought defense after a play like that and immediately turned to cover the inbound pass with 1 second on the clock?