Boston's South Station is all but asleep on Saturday morning when a college band breaks into pep-repertoire reveille for waiting passengers. The brassy notes provide the appropriate fanfare for the basketball legends entering the concourse.
Past greats from the only two National Basketball Association clubs still playing in their original cities, the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks, are ushered to a special 14-car Boston-to-New York Amtrak Legends Train; part of an NBA-arranged "Retro Series."
This was the scene several weeks ago when hoop luminaries such as John Havlicek, Bill Russell, Sam Jones, Harry Gallatin, and Dave DeBusschere helped the league celebrate its 50th anniversary. They were the window dressing for a nostalgia trip sandwiched between a pair of Celtic-Knick games.
The event conjured up memories of a once-glorious rivalry, which New York now dominates.
Two of the "old-timers" on board were Jerry Lucas and Bob Cousy. They will also be among the 50 all-time greats honored at this weekend's NBA All-Star Weekend in Cleveland. Cousy coached Lucas four games in 1969 while both were with the Cincinnati Royals.