Boston mayor Thomas Menino, who has a dubious history of blunders and mispronunciations when talking about the city's sports teams, stuck his foot in his mouth again Wednesday when discussing the Celtics' performance in the Eastern Conference finals.
"There's a lot of heart in this team, let me just tell you," Menino told reporters, before adding, "KJ is great but Hondo is really the inspiration. Hondo drives that team."
KJ, of course, should be KG, Kevin Garnett. "KJ" was the nickname for former Phoenix Suns guard Kevin Johnson, who is currently the mayor of Sacramento. And "Hondo" was Celtics legend John Havlicek's nickname. Hondo hasn't graced the Boston parquet since 1978. Menino was referring to Celtics guard Rajon Rondo.
Menino appears to be able to laugh at himself, however. On Thursday, he tweeted: "You know it's championship season when I flub our athletes' names! Sorry KG & Rondo, it's kind of my thing -- another Menino-ism!"
He's right that this is far from the first sports head-slapper Menino has been guilty of. When discussing the New England Patriots' chances in the playoffs against the Denver Broncos earlier this season, Menino talked about Tom Brady's weapons "Grabowski" (Rob Gronkowski) and "Wes Weckler" (Welker).
Menino's most infamous reference came in 2010 during the dedication of a statue to Bruins legend Bobby Orr's "ionic" goal to win the 1970 Stanley Cup. In discussing some of the best moments in Boston sports, Menino said it was Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek who "split the uprights" to win the Patriots' first Super Bowl in 2002. He was, of course, referring to kicker Adam Vinatieri.
The Celtics have a chance to reach the NBA Finals for the third time in five years with a victory Thursday night over the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.