Nov. 1, 1972

Now that so many pro athletes consider any criticism purely destructive, the following is offered as proof that this was not always so.

Asked to assess the progress of rookie guard Paul Westphal, Celtics captain John Havlicek suggested that his newest teammate needed some work on the defensive end of the floor.

“Westphal’s weakest point is his defensive play,” Havlicek said. “He’s a ball-watcher without knowing where his man is. And he’s got to understand the proper stance to take in order to move laterally as well as back-and-forth.

“I assume that when he played college ball for Southern California he wasn’t assigned to cover the opponent’s top guard.”

Whoa. A first-teamer on the previous season’s All-NBA Defensive Team shouldn’t be ignored.

Maybe Johnny Most gave Westphal a copy of his greatest hit, “Havlicek Stole the Ball.”

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