<![CDATA[There's been a lot of hubbub surrounding Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft's friendship with President Trump and the subsequent decisions by Patriots players to skip the annual Super Bowl champions' visit to the White House.
The Globe's Dan Shaughnessy takes us back to the time when no one cared if politics and sports (specifically the Celtics) mixed:
Hop into the way back machine to a simpler time . . . a time when a team won a championship on Tuesday night, then flew to the White House Wednesday morning . . . a time when three star players didn’t make the trip to Pennsylvania Avenue, and hardly anybody noticed.
This happened to your Boston Celtics in the middle of a scalding June in 1984 when Larry Bird was king, Ronald Reagan was president, the Celtics were champions, and a trip to the White House was No Big Deal.
I was there. And in today’s 24/7 culture of social media, hot takes, and political polarization, it’s kind of refreshing to look back at a time when Red’s cigar was just a cigar, and nobody really cared that Bird, Robert Parish, and Cedric Maxwell skipped the trip to the White House.
There was a wild, hot celebration in the Garden, a team party at a Faneuil bar called Chelsea’s, then an after-party at the Winchester home of team marketing director Mike Cole. Bird stayed out until the sun came up, did a live interview with a Boston radio station, then went home to Brookline to sleep while nine of his teammates were gathering at Logan’s Terminal A.
“If the president wants to see me, he knows where to find me,’’ said Bird.
That’s the Legend in a nut-shell.
John and I have touched on this a few times – Larry Bird would get skewered on social media if he played today. Look no further than the hand injury he suffered in a bar fight during the 1985 NBA finals as exhibit A.
(Image courtesy SI)]]>