Dig this crazy 1974 commerical for Bradlees, a now-defunct department store chain that was popular in New England during the 1970's. It features John Havlicek, Dave Cowens, and Don Nelson (not Don Nelson the pasty, bloated coach; this was Don Nelson the pasty, bloated player). The commercial was narrated by the late Celtics broadcaster Johnny Most, before his voice had been reduced to a hoarse, croaking whisper by years of drinking coffee drinking, smoking cigarettes, and gargling with broken glass.

For some reason this commercial is broken into two parts. In part one we learn that Don Nelson cannot handle his balls.


In part two, an angry Nelson returns a defective basketball. Strangely, he doesn't notice that the customer service representative is none other than his teammate, Dave Cowens, who was probably working at Bradlees part-time because Red Auerbach was cheap*. At the end of the commercial, the three Celtics commit a blatant act of petty larceny by walking through the checkout lanes without paying for their merchandise. They follow this up by committing an even more blatant act of cheese by shooting a ball into a shopping cart.


*Actually, Cowens' salary in 1974 was around $161,000 (which, believe it or not, was a lot of money back then). And while I'm pretty sure he never worked at Bradlees, he did spend a day working as a cab driver and once took two months off from playing basketball during the 1976-77 season to sell Christmas trees on the family farm. Interestingly enough, Cowens' behavior isn't too different from Ron Artest, who once applied to work at Best Buy and later asked the Pacers for a couple months off to promote his rap album. But if Artest took December off to sell Christmas trees, journalists and bloggers all over the country would go absolutely apeshit.

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