Feb. 5, 1973

Big-league athletes have never engaged in public self-criticism without great cause. And such great cause is an ever-rising mountaintop.

Here’s betting that if Dave Cowens were now a 25-year-old NBA center, he’d be as forthright as he was 50 years ago.

The Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers, 123-125, before 8,656 at a Sunday matinee at the Garden. They struggled for much of the game, against a team that hadn’t won a game in a month – when they posted win number five for the season.

Cowens scored 20 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, playing as hard-nosed as he expected of himself every time he took the floor.

“Sometimes you fool yourself into thinking you’re doing your best, but you’re really not,” Cowens told Boston Globe scribe Bob Ryan. “Your heart is in it, but your body is saying ‘Don’t do this. Don’t do that.’ Maybe this is what I needed to bring me out of it – being humiliated out there.”

Please write in the next the next time you hear that from a celebrity athlete.

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