Does anybody other than his ‘immediates’ know his name?
If not, that would be a shame, a Shanda.
Grande has a voice laden in velvet and knows whence he speaks.
He knows everything actually.
In a self-effacing and non-judgmental way.
Ask Cedric Maxwell.
“Cornbread” or “Bread,” to those in his inner circle, was a 2-time world champion with the fabled Boston Celtics and was the 1981 NBA Finals MVP.
Three years later, Maxwell scored 24 points against the Los Angeles Lakers in the decisive 7-game victory in the 1984 NBA Finals.
Before that game, he told his teammates to “climb on my back boys.”
The stuff of legend.
But there’s more…
Maxwell had plenty of swag.
Then for sure, and even now.
He had no problem mocking the Lakers second year forward James Worthy-–an NBA Hall of Famer to be–in game 4 of that ’84 Finals series when he stepped to the foul line in overtime.
Worthy was an inconsistent free throw shooter.
“Big Game James” shot .769 from the charity stripe in his regular season career and .727 lifetime in the postseason.
Maxwell walked across the lane back then, in advance of Worthy’s attempts, holding his hands around his throat.
An egregious act of ridicule and derision.
Tactical but classless.
That was then, and this sort of nonsense was tolerated and even sometimes lauded.
Maybe not much different, but Maxwell is.
Part of the “Grande and Max” duo, calling radio broadcasts of Celtics games for the past two decades, Grande is the lead of a very unlikely pair.
Maxwell is sartorially splendid and colorful.
Grande is on the vanilla side yet an articulate fountain of basketball knowledge in general, and Celtics lore in particular.
It works beautifully.
Partly because Maxwell has figured out when to zip it.
Only Celtics legendary radio voice Johnny Most and cable television host Mike Gorman have called more games than Grande.
On December 2, 2009 in San Antonio, Grande became the third man in league history to call more than 1,000 NBA games before age 40.
He called his 2,000th game in the NBA Playoff Bubble on August 21, 2020.
He is not yet 51.
His professional resume bursts at the seams.
Calling college hockey.
MFS Pro Tennis.
Providence Bruins hockey.
Major League Soccer.
Stanley Cup Playoffs on NHL Radio.
Boston Red Sox games with Joe Castiglione.
MMA and Boxing.
In 2021, “Grande and Max” eclipsed the legendary team of Gorman and Tommy Heinsohn, calling the most games as a pair in Celtics history.
This year, Grande began splitting Celtics television play-by-play, with Gorman calling home games and Grande joining Brian Scalabrine on the road.
Sean Grande is a superstar.
A hidden gem.
[Editor’s Note: This piece was written by Mr. Kaplan in November 2020.]