When the hard-playing Celtics experienced bumps and bruises during the game, trainer Ray Melchiorre helped players get back onto the court. “I remember someone once telling me, ‘This is the N.B.A. and you’ve got to play hurt,’ but I never had a team that more exemplified the saying,” Melchiorre said of the 1987 squad. He had a special relationship with Kevin McHale, about whom wife Lynn McHale said, “The guy spent half of his life in a bucket of ice.” Melchiorre is the only pro basketball trainer to work with five top-level teams, including stops with the ABA Pittsburgh Condors and NBA Buffalo Braves, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Clippers.
( C ) NBA/Celtics (photo by Heritage Werks)