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Replacing Russell

04.10.09 at 6:59 pm ET
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There was a warm reunion during dinner in the Will McDonough Press Room, about 45 mintues before tip-off Friday at TD Banknorth Garden.

Hank Finkel, the seven-foot center who replaced Bill Russell the year after Russell won his 11th and final NBA title, ducked as he came into the press room. He was greeted by the man who coached him beginning in 1969, Tommy Heinsohn.

Dave Cowens eventually replaced Finkel in 1972 and finished his career in 1975, winning one NBA championship in 1974 as Cowens’ back-up.

One bit of trivia, Finkel and Heinsohn both grew up in the Union City, New Jersey area.

Read More: Celtics, Hank Finkel, NBA, Tommy Heinsohn
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