“ Game 5 was back in Boston. When we came in, the city was in the in the middle of a terrible heat wave. That shouldn’t have been a problem, except that the Garden was built back in 1928, before air-conditioning. I’m pretty sure at game time, the temperature outside was 97 degrees. Inside it was hotter. Their crowd showed up in t-shirts and shorts.
The Celtics have always been known for harassing their opponents off the court. And sometimes their fans help them out. They’d come into our hotel at night, knocking on doors, setting off fire alarms, making it difficult to get any sleep.
But this was the first time in history that the Celtics had been able to monkey around with the weather. Everybody knew that Red Auerbach had ordered up this heat wave. But to this day, nobody has ever figured out who we did it.
The heat was particularly hard on Kareem, who had to use an oxygen mask on the benh. When a reporter asked him to describe how it felt, Kareem put it beautifully, `I suggest that you go to a local steam bath, do a hundred push-ups with all your clothes on, then try to run back and forth for forty-eight minutes.’ ”