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Marc Kestecher | National Radio PxP Voice

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
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June 18, 2024 5:47 am

Marc Kestecher | National Radio PxP Voice

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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June 18, 2024 5:47 am

National PxP voice Marc Kestecher joins the show from TD Garden in Boston to recap the Celtics NBA Title win!

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So forget everything you thought you knew about EVs and turn the extraordinary into something truly electrifying. There's joy in every journey. Of course, there were multiple calls of the game, not just the Celtics version on their own radio network with Sean Grandy, also Chuck Cooperstein, who we had last week on the Dallas Mavericks radio network, always a class act, and the national radio call with Marc Kestisher on ESPN radio. The coaches shake hands, Joe Mazula and Jason Kidd. The final four seconds tick away. Get ready to raise an 18th banner, Boston. The Celtics are once again the winningest franchise in the history of the NBA. It's an 18th title for the Celtics, the 2024 NBA champions. The green and white confetti falling now. As the Boston Celtics defeat the Dallas Mavericks in five games, Jalen Brown and Jason Tatum finally have their championship. And P.J.

light up a cigar for red. The Celtics are once again the world champs. We did it. We did it! Oh, my God, we did it. A little bit like Kevin Garnett from exactly 16 years ago Monday night, and that voice of Marc Kestisher joining us now from Boston following a nice celebratory Hey, we did it dinner, finally wrapping up the NBA season. I don't know, Marc, when you hear the Jason Tatum, we did it. Did it remind you of Kevin Garnett?

Anything is possible. It was kind of in that same tenor. You're right, Amy. Good to be on with you. I actually ran into Sean Grandy and his family on the north end of Boston a short time ago as the celebrations continue here in Boston. And as you're describing everything, I'm actually I was pulling out my box score just to make sure I remembered everything. And I swear to you, little bits of green and white confetti just fell out of my bag.

It was thick. And I have a little tradition. I take some of the confetti. I put it with my last scorecard of the year. I'm the luckiest guy on earth to have called eight of these. And I always have the clinching game with whatever.

You know, last year in Denver, I think it was blue and gold. And I keep that, you know, in my little bookcase to look back on some day. It's pretty cool. And I was in this building 16 years ago. I was a studio host.

And I remember Doc Rivers getting sloshed with the orange Gatorade and then Kevin Garnett yelling into the microphone. You know, it's it's it's a real experience. It feels like it was just yesterday. And yet I met a kid kid. He's you know, he's a full grown man now. And he was introduced to me by a friend. And the friend said he was in the building for the 2008 championship. I'm like, how old were you when he goes, I was four.

And I'm like, oh, man, how about that? Yeah, no doubt these fans were just they were just waiting for the eruption. I have to tell you something about the confetti, though.

A listener replied to me on social and said, I think they've been saving up that confetti since 2008. I'm not sure I've ever seen it that thick. Could you even see the court when it started falling? No, it started trickling. And it looked like, you know, it's on the other side of the floor on the court.

You know, we're like two or three rows off the floor at center court. And then all of a sudden it was like a tsunami of green and white. It was like it was so thick. You know, all of a sudden you couldn't see your notes. If you breathed in the wrong way, you probably had like three of them go down the wrong pipe. It was it was a blizzard there for about 15 seconds.

And of course, in modern day, you know, I always yell at my daughter because everybody's doing everything on their phone all the time. There I was putting it into, you know, camera mode and making sure I got a few seconds of the blizzard. So it was it was hard to see there for a sec. So you can check that out on Mark's Twitter at Mark Kestisher.

And that's Mark with a C and Kestisher with a K. Let's go back to that Peyton Prichard moment. What did it sound like from your vantage point right there on the court? Oh, it was you're right. It was an explosion of sound because I think everybody recognized what was about to happen. I don't know.

Maybe you could tell me. Maybe they talked about it postgame. I remember last time Peyton Prichard just checked himself in to the game end of the third quarter and did the first time. And we queried him like we're like, so you just checked yourself in. He's like, well, I give this look to Joe Missoula. And of course, you know, Joe, yeah, you know, kind of nodding his head or whatever. And so inbound comes and I just see that green number 11. And I think all of us at the same time, whether you were Sean Grandy on Boston Radio or Mike Green over on ABC, you just and the crowd, 20,000 people were like, oh, my goodness, this is about to happen again.

And the boss who was on the trip with me, he was in the upper deck and he had a perfect angle behind Prichard. And he said, as soon as it left his hand, he knew it was going in. And you're right, that was a demoralizing moment. I thought the end of the first quarter felt demoralizing enough for Dallas, that conclusion to the second. And you were like, well, you know, I know they came back from down 21 nearly in the fourth quarter of Game three. But it just became obvious that this was about to become a party.

And then it did. Mark Hester is with us from Boston still following Game five in the coordination of the Celtics as they win the championship. First one since 2008.

It's after hours with Amy Lawrence. I have to ask and then we'll we'll come back to Game five because you were there in the building for Game four. How the heck does this team lose by nearly 50?

It doesn't even seem possible. And the only explanation I can come up with is they didn't need to win. They they knew they didn't need to win. It's strange because and look at three losses they had in the postseason. This was as dominant a postseason run as there is not the most dominant, but close 16 and three. I mean, that was they got torched by Miami. Remember, the Heat hit like 23 three pointers. They got pretty badly by Cleveland in Game two in the second round. And then they had Game four where, you know, for whatever reason, I think it's just, you know, P.J.

Carlessimo, my analyst, as you know, and he's been around college and professional basketball forever. And he just said sometimes there's just you don't plan on it. You may not think, hey, let's you know, let's get this thing at home. I think some days you just don't have it. You know, you don't have the force. The other team brings the force and you can't match it no matter what you try. And then you start taking bad shots.

And I have no other explanation how it got to what it was. You know, 46, 48 points at one night. But one team let go of the rope and they knew they had three more chances at it.

And they knew they had their own floor. But it comes with a little bit of, you know, a cost in that you better not mess up Game five because now you're going back on the road six. But that was never that was never a possibility. But I just would submit the three games they lost and you just have to burn all those tapes because none of those were recognizable to what I think. I'll see if you agree with me. You know, we're caught in the moment and you're like, well, I don't know if this is one of the great teams of all time in NBA history, but I think when we look to five, maybe 10 years down the road and I'm talking team, not just two stars. I mean, this is among the best constructed teams that I can remember in a long time. And I think history, you know, will look very favorably on the 24 Celtics. It's funny, too, because Brad Stevens, who coached these guys at the beginning of their careers, wants to take no credit.

He said, I don't deserve any thanks at all. I sat in a suite and ate popcorn for 100 games. But it's true that he had taken what he knew about the team and he's now built a winner that includes Kristaps Porzingis, that includes Drew Holliday, who, of course, is now a two time champion.

And it's so neat to see how he was enveloped in the culture right away. But I want to ask you about Jalen Brown. And I know a lot has been made of their 22 run and how they lost to the Warriors in Boston in Game six. But I remember the Jalen from last year from Game seven against the Heat.

He's used the word embarrassed and embarrassing multiple times to talk about what happened the last couple of years. In your opinion, from your perspective, what's the biggest difference in Jalen going back a year ago? I think, well, first of all, there's a confidence that all of them got from, you know, having a guy like Drew Holliday, who was the ultimate pro coming over.

You know, Al Horford, who's, you know, a calming force and is just, you know, a total pro. I think there was addition by subtraction with the roster. And I just think, you know, this has been an unbelievable season when you think of opening day and you check in in November, check in in January. You know, they were so much better than everybody else in the NBA.

And I think all of that grew. And I think, you know, especially Tatum and Brown realized that they needed each other more than they probably realized. And as much as me personally, when I try to tell the story of the Celtics, to me, it was, you know, the disappointment and the learning of losing to the Warriors in 22. And then I think it was my mistake to not consider what went on last year when they fell down 0-3 to Miami, a team that played great and we're not taking anything away from the heat because they were spectacular. But the Celtics felt they were a better team and that they didn't perform. And even though it was a little too late when they got it to seven, and I think I remember Jason Tatum got injured early in game seven and Jalen Brown struggled. I think there was more of a we need to reassess what we're doing here personally last year than it was losing to Golden State, you know, in the end of that dynastic run for the Warriors. So I think it was, oh, we're getting closer. We don't know if this is going to work us. And then you mentioned Brad Stevens who wants, you know, no credit.

You know, we asked multiple times for interviews and Brad, you know, good friend of PJ's and we had great interactions over the years. He really did want to be in the shadows and, you know, he made two biggest moves of the season. And, you know, if you go back and look at the timing of those moves, you know, there was no guarantees that Drew Holliday ends up there. I mean, they moved on Market Smart in the trade with Porzingis, you know, and you're wondering like, well, how's this going to work? And, you know, this is going to crush the defense.

You know, you're losing the heart and soul of it. You know, little did any of us know, you know, Milwaukee was going to make that move and they were going to trade through to Portland. And then I remember we were talking to Drew Holliday last week and I asked him, I said, what were those four days like before you were traded to Boston? We were talking with the Trailblazers about, you know, what the roster would look like. And it got to a point where Drew wasn't comfortable, like, I don't know if this is going to work.

Can you move me? And then, you know, he gave all credit to the Trailblazers who didn't, you know, look to hold anybody up, you know, for tons of draft picks. And he got sent to Boston, you know, a week before training camp and, you know, had to learn on the fly. And I just think it's it's an amazing story how it all came together, because when you look at how the pieces were first starting to fall, there was no guarantee that they were going to be better than they were last year.

And I think Brad deserves a lot of that credit. And that all goes with selecting Joe Missoula. And I love the Danny Ainge story about, you know, trying to hire Joe from a Division two school. And Joe said no, because he had brought all these transfers in to his Division two school at Fairmont State and he didn't want to leave them. And so Danny Ainge tells Joe, you know, these offers don't come all the time.

There's no, I mean, there may be a chance where you don't even get the shot and Joe stuck to his guns. And not only did Danny Ainge appreciate that, you know, he realized, you know, I like this guy even more because he stands on principle. And so he offered him the job a second time a year later and Joe took it. Who would have thought, you know, four years after being a D2 head coach, he's now one of the youngest NBA head coaching champions in league history. It's amazing. Mark Kessinger is with us from Boston in the wake of Game 5 called the National Broadcast on ESPN Radio. How many of these NBA finals have you done now?

We just finished number eight. Getting old. Man, time is flying.

And yet you're still rocketed at 3.15 Eastern Time in Boston. So I'm glad you brought up Joe because he was an unlikely candidate when Imei Udonka got suspended. But over the course of a few years of listening to him and talking to him, what makes him the right guy for this job? Yeah, you know, we spent two years as a media and, you know, we're a little different because we get our little five 10-minute meetings as a national rights holder with him. And I feel like it's like chipping away at a big giant iceberg and hoping, you know, that I think we've gained his trust.

I think. But he, you know, he doesn't. He's very guarded. And, you know, he knows. But he's so smart. You know, that's the thing I gleaned all these times. Every question I ask, I learn a little something more about how he sees the world and how he sees basketball.

And it does impress me to no end. And from what I'm told, because we don't see, you know, the coach Joe Missoula that the players see. But from everything I hear, he commands the room. You know, he he certainly has the backing of his star players, which includes a guy who's actually three years older than him in Al Horford. So it's he's a remarkable young coach who's just getting started. He knows who he is.

He knows he believes in, you know, he's he knows what the X's and O's are that he wants to run. And just a magical year. And you think of a guy that's been two years as the head coach and last year found out, you know, what, a week before the season started. Right.

You know, didn't didn't have his assistance. And you go to Game 7 of the Eastern Finals and then you win an NBA championship. So I've got a lot to learn about Joe, the guy. I may never really know him, but I am very impressed with his basketball acumen and his ability to lead men.

He does definitely seem like he will fight the world if you get too close. You can get a little salty, but I suppose they work long hours. Same thing with Mike Malone last year. I always wondered why he was so cranky, even when the Nuggets were dominating and were on their way to the NBA championship.

Mark, you bring about Horford. I love old dudes in sports because they're in touch with their own sports mortality. They recognize these opportunities don't come around every year. And even Jason Tatum said, you know, when you're young and you make it, you think it's going to happen every year.

No big thing. But the closer you get to the end of your career, the more legs are the more. Yeah, the more legs your career has, the more mileage you put on that body.

You recognize you better cherish every moment. And yet he will do anything to help this team win. What have you heard from him about this and about finally getting the chance to win a title at age 38? Yeah, well, first of all, LeBron James gets a lot of credit and deservedly so for how he's taken care of his body to be almost 40 years old and play in the NBA. And I think very far under the radar, you don't notice that Al Horford is doing very similarly.

And now that he was on the stage and had the brightest spotlight on him, you know, you start to learn that there's so much sacrifice. I know we're not using it real world term. We're using it in sports terms. But at that age and as you know, you and I creep north of 40. Right.

We just turned 40 last week. Yes. You know, it's harder and harder to maintain it. And so that's the thing I learned about Al is, you know, he really is taking care of his body. Chris Taps Porzingis goes down and we know how important, you know, KP was to this team. And Al just, you know, joins the starting lineup and you don't even miss a beat. You know, the guy can hit threes. Sometimes.

Sometimes. You know, winning two national championships in college and then, you know, he went through kind of not the NBA wastelands, but he wasn't on. You know, those when he was in Atlanta, those early years, you know, they weren't, you know, real contenders.

And then you come to Boston and then he left and he comes back. And you think two years ago, that is probably his best chance to win a title and they probably missed out on it. So I think and it was fun watching his dad, Tito, who was sitting in front of us during the ceremony when Al was up there with the Larry O'Brien and he interviewed by Lisa Salters on ABC. You could see some tears welling in his eyes, just the pride, you know, that he has lasted all this long, all this long 17 years to wait for this championship. So there's so many great stories on that team.

Yes. You know, Tatum and Brown have their championship. I love the Al Horford story, the Joe Missoula story. And, you know, the nature of sports now. Can you do it again? But but for one night, they always say that first championship, it's never, ever, ever going to be the same.

And that's the one thing as I get older that I watch these guys. It was so joyous and it's the first time. And I think you can never really recreate that kind of stacking championships if you're fortunate. So it was fun to watch these Celtics, even though it's an 18th banner, go through it for the first time. I have to ask about Kyrie. At any point, did the fans seem to let up on him in Boston?

I think the easy answer would be no. Although at the very end, when he went over and shook everybody's hand, gave some hugs while there was still time on the clock. And he went over to the Boston bench, hugged a few guys. I did see some front row folks that were like, you know, I could read lips, classy, that kind of stuff.

But I think as soon as I got outside of TD Garden and we were walking, you know, back towards the North End, I can't even say some of those chants that were coming up. So, yes, it was not easy for Kyrie, that's for sure. You guys probably noticed on the television call, Mike Green's statistician got taken out by Kyrie when he flew over there. I didn't know.

We're across the way, but I couldn't tell. Apparently, there was a fan that, you know, started kind of getting into it verbally with Kyrie. And I think Mike Green actually told the guy to, you know, hey, relax, that kind of thing. So he was the center of attention, the target, you know, for all the fans. Just didn't, you know, like the fact that he left or how it all ended here at Boston. And Kyrie, I mean, outright admitted that it kind of got to him. And his numbers in Boston certainly showed it. He wasn't the same player in the three games here than he was the two games in Dallas. I would say the fans also had an issue with him burning sage inside or, you know, like waving sage around, stepping on the logo saying, I actually thought it would be louder following game number one.

I guess be careful what you wish for. So what about these Mavericks make you believe that they could be a contender again moving forward? Well, I think learning experience for Luca, that's for sure. Luca and Kyrie, I think, surprised many of us. You know, we all knew they could be a good offensive partnership. And then they go out and make the trades and turn into a pretty decent defensive team, corner three-point shooting team.

I love Eric Lively. I mean, he's 20 years old and the first time we interviewed him, you're like, okay, I could see how he got into Duke, you know, for his year. He's very smart, very heady.

Look, it's going to be tough. The West is a gauntlet and it was pretty remarkable that they made it as far as they did. But I think, you know, it's a good young team that went farther than anyone had expected.

I'm sure they'll have some moves that they can make. You know, they've got one of the best players on the planet in Luca, who himself, you know, went through some learning that was, you know, well-discussed, I'm sure, throughout this series. And, you know, he's only going to get better from it. You know, we would think, look, there's some things he'll need to work on in the offseason, even though, you know, he's got a terrific game. I think some of it certainly will be, you know, taking a little better care of himself.

He was banged up pretty good. That's not his fault, but he could probably, like Nikola Jokic, even take another level to get into some really good shape. And then, you know, we'll see what roster they build around him. Jason Kidd is, you know, a smart coach, smart young coach. I think the toughest thing for them is the competition because there are some really good young teams. Some of them they played and some of them they beat as well. So credit to them to get this far, but it's a team that, for me, probably didn't pay attention enough even after the trades. And, you know, shame on me.

They turned out to have a whale of a year. Before I let you go, one more thing just because it's important to you, I know, and it's certainly important to me. Any woman who wants to do play-by-play or is now in play-by-play, Doris Burke is the standard. As an analyst, she becomes the first to call an NBA Finals on TV. I know you lost her as your analyst, but you worked with her for a couple of years on the radio side. How special for you because you're a friend, but also for her to be able to be in this position in 2024. I'm so proud of her. I mean, we all are, you know, that work with her. I got to call four Finals with her, I think, three or four.

We started in the bubble, so I think it was four. And when the booth was changing, I just had a feeling like, you know what, I think Doris is going to be moving up to the TV side. And she probably, I don't know if she would admit it, but I'm sure there had to be nerves before game one. I mean, she could not have been seamless with us.

And obviously, on the radio side, it's not nearly the amount of pressure, the amount of TV, you know, for eyes. Certainly, you know, the ears on our side. And I think she handles it well. You know, she has the ultimate respect from Mike Breen, you know, his Hall of Fame.

They're both, you know, Kirk Gowdy Award winners. And, you know, she was ready for it. She was ready for the moment. I hope that folks enjoyed her presentation. You know, she's one of the smartest basketball people that I know. And I know she cares greatly for the product and realized, you know, as much as it is an honor, it was also a, this is special.

And I want to make sure I live up to the moment. And I'm looking forward to watching some of those games. I didn't get to hear all of it, obviously, as we're calling it on the radio side. But I always check in with her after every game.

I saw her tonight and, you know, she felt really comfortable with how it all went down. And I hope everybody enjoyed it. I wanted seven. You know, I don't care who wins. I just want close games and seven. I didn't really get any of those. But I do enjoy a home clinch, even though it can get a little messy trying to get through the streets and honking horns and the celebrations that go on.

But it's, those are great memories that you take with you. Well, and if you want to see a photo, Mark on his Twix header, Doris is part of that because they were in that same radio booth, I guess you can call it, for lack of a better term. The same radio row for the last few years.

On Twitter, at Mark Kestisher, national radio voice of the NBA Finals on ESPN radio. Long time pro. Been doing this for, well, you know, we're in our 40s, so a long time. And we always appreciate.

Two years old. Yeah, right. We always appreciate our NBA Finals conversations, Mark. Thank you so much. Well, we go back a long way. So it's always good to check in every once in a while.

And glad I could come on for a few minutes. Or download the TuneIn app to start listening. Start your summer road trip at Midas and get up to $30 off your next repair service. Plus get a free Closer Look vehicle check to make sure you're road trip ready. So if you need a brake service and alignment check or tune up, hit up Midas for up to $30 off.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-18 07:14:24 / 2024-06-18 07:26:15 / 12

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