Boston Celtics

Mar 1, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Celtics guard Derrick White (9) warms up before the start of the game against the Atlanta Hawks at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Since joining the Celtics at the NBA trade deadline, point guard Derrick White has done nothing but impress. His play through nine games has quickly won over many Boston sports fans.

White has done plenty as a player in his three-week Celtics tenure, but now he’s giving fans a reason to resonate with him off the floor as well. A mic’d up clip from Thursday night’s win over the Memphis Grizzlies is certain to have Boston sports fans of a certain age giddy.

White, who was born in Colorado, was caught talking baseball with Celtics’ traveling manager John ‘JJ’ Connor before the game. Connor, a Yankees fan, was speaking about Derek Jeter’s recent induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

“Jeter? See, my dad was a Red Sox fan so I couldn’t like Jeter,” White explained. “Garciaparra – I liked Nomar. I used to do my gloves like him,” White continued, acting out the former Red Sox shortstop’s famous pre-at-bat routine.

Garciaparra was a five-time All Star shortstop for the Red Sox from 1996-2004. In nine seasons in Boston, he hit .323 with 178 home runs. He was traded during the team’s curse-breaking season in 2004 at the trade deadline. Although it’s been almost 20 years since he put on a Red Sox uniform, he remains a fan favorite in the city.

White – who was 10 when Garciaparra was traded by the Red Sox – had appeared on the Celtics’ View From the Rafters podcast earlier in the day and talked about his father’s connection to the city.

“He was super happy,” White said of his dad’s reaction to him being traded to the Celtics. “He grew up in Boston until he was like eight or nine. Die-hard Red Sox fan, big-time Celtics fan. I sent him a picture of my jersey and he was like, ‘Just to see White on that Celtics jersey…’ he was happy about that.”

If White can continue to make the impact he has so far for the Celtics, he could carve out his own legacy in Boston sports. In the nine games since he was traded, he’s averaging 11.8 points per game while offering a stout defensive presence. The Celtics are 7-2 in games he’s played.

Up next for White and the Celtics is perhaps their biggest test since the deadline, with the Brooklyn Nets coming to down Sunday afternoon. Unlike the last matchup when the Nets were shorthanded, this time Brooklyn is expected to have both Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in the lineup. Tip-off is at 1 p.m. ET, with pregame coverage beginning at 12:30 on 98.5 The Sports Hub and the Celtics Radio Network.

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Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.