The Celtic who probably knows the most about how to beat the Lakers has yet to set foot on the court for the team.
Boston reserve Tony Gaffney, a former UMass star, was on the Lakers’ preseason roster before being cut for financial reasons. He remained close with members of the team and actually attended the Jan. 31 Celtics-Lakers game in Boston as a fan.
“At the time I had a Lakers sweatshirt on,” Gaffney said, with a laugh.
He’s not the only one who’s worn both sets of colors. Several players, including Rick Fox and Don Nelson, have been on both the L.A. and Boston rosters.
Fox was drafted by the Celtics in 1991 and played six seasons for them. During the ’96-97 season, he set the Celtics’ single season assist record — one later broken by Rajon Rondo. He then signed with Los Angeles, where he won three straight titles.
Nelson played two rather forgettable seasons with the Lakers before moving to the Celtics in ’65. He won five championships in 11 seasons with Boston, hitting a key shot in Game 7 of the ’69 Finals.
As for Gaffney, there’s no question where his allegiance sits now.
“It’s cool [to have played with the Lakers], but, at the same time I’m focused on winning the series,” Gaffney said.
“It’s good to see all of them; they treat me very well. But I’m excited to be here with the Celtics.”