Basketball: Effortless Age

They were pro basketball's old men, the team the experts wrote off as has-beens after they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in the National Basketball Association play-offs last year and finished a distant second to the 76ers in the N.B.A.'s Eastern Division this season. Over the long haul, the Boston Celtics might be the most successful team in the history of pro sport, but now they were over the hill. Their coach and center, Bill Russell, was 34. So was Guard Sam Jones. Forward Bailey Howell was 31; Captain John Havlicek was a...

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