By Reinis Lacis (@LamarMatic)
Glenn McDonald, the hero of the legendary 1976 NBA Finals Game Five! The former Boston Celtic revealed what persuaded him to play for the underdogs that were the Long Beach State 49ers, how veterans like John Havlicek took him under their wings at Boston and what followed in his life and career after that clutch showing at the Garden.
Topics discussed in the podcast:
01:05 – Jerry Tarkanian’s Long Beach State teams, assistant coach Ivan Duncan and player Samuel Robinson recruiting him, the Soul Squad, Long Beach State’s black cheerleading squad;
04:45 – Being an offensive-minded player at Jefferson High in Los Angeles, then joining pro-level talent like Ed Ratleff, Chuck Terry and George Trapp with the 49ers, improving as a defensive player to get on the floor, stories of stopping John Errecart, not stopping Doug Collins, the legendary Raymond Lewis;
10:20 – Senior year under coach Lute Olson, being the middle man between him and the team, improving as a scorer and jump shooter on a more balanced 49ers squad;
15:05 – Coach Dwight Jones informing him about being drafted while he was moving, having little contact with Red Auerbach, Havlicek helping him as both were real runners on the court, Paul Silas teaching him about professionalism, the appreciation he has for those veterans;
20:45 – Game Five of the 1976 NBA finals, Glenn’s most vivid memories from that game, the Celtics organization showing him respect to this day;
25:45 – Getting cut by Tom Heinsohn just after getting married, Don Nelson looking out for him and bringing him over to Milwaukee for a short stint with the Bucks, scoring 12 points in his last game in the NBA against the Rockets and college teammate Ed Ratleff;
29:30 – Doing other jobs to make money, Ivan Duncan persuading him to go to Sweden, playing with Alvik against good competition in the 1977–78 FIBA European Champions Cup, life in The Philippines being a pleasant surprise, seeing the world through basketball;
36:05 – Basketball being low-key in Sweden, him as a former NBA player being a trail blazer in international basketball, teammate Byron “Snake” Jones, a terrific comeback to win the 1980 PBA season’s Open Conference with the U/Tex Wranglers;
39:25 – Relationships with Cliff Pondexter, Roscoe Pondexeter and his son Quincy Pondexter, him and Eric McWilliams taking a homesick George Gervin to the airport, Tark going crazy about it, George and Glenn laughing about it to this day;
46:20 – Getting ready to retire from 32 years on the campus of Long Beach State, 20 of which have been spent as the Director of Intramural Sports.
The media related to the podcast:
Notable snippets of the interview:
Thanks to Glenn for coming on the show and sharing his insight about the Boston Celtics organization!