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Takes it, makes it

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  March 18, 2011 11:27 AM

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maxwellcedricfinn.jpgHis No. 31 hangs in the Garden rafters, but Max actually wore No. 30 early in his career. That number, however belongs to Mike and Tommy now, as noted in today's media column right here.

It's always a pleasure to talk to Mike Gorman, who, as I am reminded painfully each time I transcribe an interview with him, has an uncanny knack for turning a rambling question into a thoughtful answer. I suspect a similar ability also comes into play with the various cast of analysts he's worked with this year. Tommy, of course, but also Max, Donny Marshall on occasion, and trippy Bill Walton on those West Coast trips.

‘‘It’s different personalities, it’s different preparation on my part," Gorman acknowledges. "The preparation I do for games I work with Tommy really is small compared to say if I’m working with Donny, working with Bill, working with Cedric. When I work with those guys, I always try to have a list of subjects to bring up of things to talk to them about if the conversation lags or if I feel that they don’t have the energy we want them to have, I have different talking points I can go to to bring them back. I don’t do that with Tommy, first of all because his energy level is never low, but I know exactly where he’s going to be."

And what he wants to talk about.

‘‘I know he doesn’t really want to comment on the state of the NBA, he doesn’t really want to comment on the NCAA tournament, he just wants to comment on the Celtics," Gorman said. "He wants to comment on how the Celtics can win tonight how, they beat the guys on the other side, and how we do it despite this team of officials working against us over there. So we kind of have the same approach every game.

"Does it feel like 30 years? It just doesn’t. I can’t think of any other way to put it. It just doesn’t. But that really has been the style for the last 30 years, I sit down, get to the press room. I usually beat Tommy there, he shows up around 5:30, sits down, gets himself a meal. Says ‘What do you think, who’s playing, who’s doing this, who’s doing that?’ all about hte game at hand. Goes out, finishes his meal, sits on the sideline with some of the assistant coaches, watches players go through warmups and everything else, talks to players, and he’s ready to go."

It's an approach that's worked wonderfully for 30 years, and the vast majority of Celtics fans would agree: Here's to many more.

* * *

Rescued a couple of deleted scenes from the column. Do with them what you will . . .

webberfinnc.jpg• The Fab Five, a look at the wildly popular University of Michigan basketball team from the early ’90s produced by ESPN Films, earned a 2.1 rating to become the network’s highest rated documentary according to the Nielsen Company. Wonder if Grant Hill was among those turning in. The former Duke star took umbrage with Jalen Rose’s comment in the film (which Rose executive produced) that he believed while he was at Michigan that black players who went to Duke were ‘‘Uncle Toms.’’ Hill, now with the Phoenix Suns, wrote a graceful but pointed rebuttal to Rose’s comments that was published as an Op/Ed piece by the New York Times, concluding the piece with this slam-dunk of a paragraph: ‘‘I am proud of my family. I am proud of my Duke championships and all my Duke teammates. And, I am proud I never lost a game against the Fab Five.’’

• WEEI has made a couple of noteworthy tweaks to its lineup of weekly baseball insiders for the new season. Former Red Sox first baseman Kevin Millar, now with the MLB Network, will join Mike Mutnansky and Millar’s former teammate Lou Merloni during the midday program on Mondays. Red Sox manager Terry Francona will appear on the ‘‘Big Show’’ with Glenn Ordway and Michael Holley each Wednesday at 2:30. Also on Wednesdays, Jerry Remy will chat with Dennis and Callahan at 9 a.m. while Peter Gammons will join ‘‘Mut and Merloni’’ at noon.

About Touching All The Bases

Irreverence and insight from Chad Finn, a Globe/Boston.com sports writer and media columnist. A winner of several national and regional writing awards, he is the founder and sole contributor to the TATB blog, which launched in December 2004. Yes, he realizes how lucky he is.

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