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    Hank Finkel

    Jew Score:



    April 20, 1942 —

    Tommy Heinsohn, the longtime player/coach/announcer/mouthpiece of the Boston Celtics, used to tell a story about Hank Finkel. In 1969, Bill Russell, perhaps the greatest basketball player of all time, retired. He had just led the Celtics to his 11th championship as a player... and his second as coach. To replace him, in came Finkel. (As player; Heinsohn took over as coach.)

    Finkel wasn't... good. While it was impossible to follow Russell, Finkel was average at best. The former champions missed the playoffs. Boos rang from the stands.

    And yet, the Celtics continued to sell out. Heinsohn had a theory: Boston's Jewish fans came out to see Finkel.

    Flimsy? Yes, very flimsy. Yet, according to Heinsohn, the sellouts stopped once Finkel made the sign of a cross. You see, he was German Catholic, not Jewish.

    Finkel played six seasons for the Celtics, his stats diminishing every year. He finished out a rather undistinguished sporting career and opened a furniture company, Hank Finkel Associates.

    We're not sure if he sold more furniture because people thought he was Jewish...

    Verdict: Not a Jew.

    February 7, 2024

    See Also

    Red Auerbach

    Bob Gross

    Dave Newmark

    Tiago Splitter

    Neal Walk
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