Sorry, Lakers, but Torre's dirty little secret is out: He grew up a Celtics fan
Cheering for that damn green. Rooting against the Lakers in the Finals. Loving that cigar.
It’s absolutely true, though he maintains that he’s now pulling for the Lakers in this year’s NBA Finals.
The sad truth is, he gives credit to the Celtics for introducing him to the concept of team play.
"To be honest with you, growing up I was a big Boston Celtics fan," Torre said. "Of course, I’m from New York, and that’s not supposed to happen.
"But I just was fascinated by the Celtics of the ’50s, with [Bob] Cousy and [Bill] Sharman and Bill Russell and those guys, how they shared the ball. And it really stuck in my mind and I think I really got a lot of the team concept stuff from those guys.
"Because they never really had one guy who averaged 30 points a game. It was like a bunch of ’em had 20, 21, 18, 17. I was very fascinated. I really respected the way they went about their business back then."
Those were the Celtics who won 10 championships in 11 seasons, in the process beating the Lakers in the Finals a painful seven times. They made Jerry West cry.
The same Celtics who also beat the Lakers in the Finals two years ago, winning the deciding game by a humiliating 39 points.
So who is Torre puling for when the 2010 Lakers-Celtics Finals start Thursday?
"I’m a Laker guy, of course," Torre said.
"I think it’s going to be a great series," he said. "I’m living here in L.A. and you want the home team to win."
And such an enthusiastic qualifier.
-- Steve Dilbeck