11 years ago, in June of 1997, I got the worst news of my life.
My best friend was gone. He had taken his own life.
Del and I were pretty much the same person. We loved the same music (I remember drinking beers in the studio… while he was doing his '88.9 at night' show on WERS in Boston.) We were basketball maniacs… except with one key difference. He was from L.A…. and he was a Lakers fan.
That made for some VERY fun times. I remember betting on the 1992-93 season. Loser wears the other team's gear for a week. I recruited everyone to donate their ugliest Celtics gear. I have the photo of him decked out in green.. giving the Red Auerbach statue a headlock. Awesome.
I remember betting on a Celtics-Lakers game in 1995… In Boston. Lobster dinner (on a college kid's budget, no less). The Celtics had it in the bag until Nick Van Exel hit a BS 3 pointer to win the game. I'll never forget his heels being over the out-of-bounds line… but somehow…. some way… never coming down and touching the line. The shot was good. And I watched Del eat lobster and Quincy Market.
Right now, I should be on the phone talking crap to my best friend about how my awesome Celtics are about to beat his suck-ass Lakers for their 17th championship. I should be saying things like "wait… how many do you guys have again?"
We had plans to hook up on one coast when we retired… and then travel to the other coast… watching a game in every arena along the way. Maybe when I retire, I'll do that on my own… to honor that promise.
I'll forever miss my best friend Del… the die-hard Lakers fan. As much as I hope for the Celtics to win it all this week… and as much as I'll celebrate… it will be a little empty. It always will be.
comments have been disabled in this post. I just wanted to share the story. To those of you who hoped to send thoughts along… I'll just say thank you.