That’s it Derrick White: it could have been fun in the backyard; it may have been at the end of a long practice; it could have been a road game in Detroit in January.
White would be there. Busting around, filling in the gaps, making the right game. He has the habits of a hero, the work ethic of a hero, and the mindset of a hero.
When people talk about White’s legacy in decades to come, they’ll be remembering the play – as they should – but it’s also important to remember that it didn’t come out of nowhere.
After living in the shadows as an unsung hero throughout his basketball career, White he is now the hero he deserves. Sometimes it takes an instant classic like this to help us all realize that the hero has been there all along.
White’s winning hand raised after the time expired Celts down magical, 104-103, a season-saving triumphh over the Heat in Game 6 on Saturday. It was a poetic moment for a player who lives by being in the right place at the right time.
“When he scored, I was just trying to crash,” said White. “The ball came to me and I scored.”
You can show some excitement, man. Even after hitting one of the most dramatic shots in NBA history, White was balanced, composed and grounded. It’s never too high, never too low, and always tries to make the right play. He knows Game 7 is on the horizon.
There’s a reason why it flourished from Division II to the NBA. There’s a reason Gregg Popovich loves this guy. Brad Stevens brought him to Boston for a reason.
With Jayson Tatum’s hot and cold shots, Jaylen Brown’s erratic dribbling and Malcolm Brogdon injured, White served as the stabilizer the Celtics desperately needed.
“If you don’t know who D-White is, you know who he is now,” said Marcus Smart. “This guy has been phenomenal to us all, all year.”
“If you don’t know who D-White is, you know who he is now.”
Marcus Smart on Derrick White’s winning bucket pic.twitter.com/q5dP9HWJwe
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) May 28, 2023
White averages 13.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.5 blocks, 1.2 steals and 0.7 turnovers while shooting 53.8 percent from the floor and 55.3 percent from 3-point range in this series.
He has a similar reassuring presence to the Patriots great James White, where it’s easy to take him for granted until he gives you a choice when he comes up with the biggest game of the season.
White did exactly what they teach in basketball biddy. When the shot is fired, break the glass, move on and make something happen. He made a fundamentally sound play to perfection at the most critical moment of all. Sometimes something so simple can make such a big difference.
“Derrick White, like lightning, came out of nowhere and saved the day, man,” said Jaylen Brown. “It was just an amazing play.”
Fans who follow the Celtics religiously already knew that White was the glue. Now the casual fan realizes it too.
It’s a good thing there’s a brutal, sneaky game like this. Step-back 3 would have been great in its own way, but this one felt more like a Derrick White winner.
Havlicek stole the ball and White stole the match. Now they need one more to make sure it’s not for nothing.
“I still can’t believe it,” said Tatum. “This shit was crazy.”