A dad, a son and Tatum’s sneakers

October 28 — The story, at first glance, was sweet.

There’s the dad, formerly of Andover, Bob Jacobs. There’s 12-year-old son Max Jacobs, born and raised in Houston. and both were at a Houston Rockets game recently hosting the Boston Celtics.

Max, wearing a Celtics jersey, yells for Jayson Tatum towards the end of the game, saying “I love your sneakers”.

Tatum recognizes Max. Tatum smiles. The game ends.

Tatum begins to untie his sneakers on the bench, then hands them to a trainer and waves to Max. The coach goes a few rows in the stands and hands them to Max.

Everybody is happy.

It’s a beautiful event, but this story is worth more than a nice gesture from a superstar, rewarding a kid / fan on the road.

Bob, 65, from Milton who worked with hedge funds for most of his adult life, moved from Andover to the Houston area before turning 50. He married a local girl and they had a son.

The former gym rat of the Andover area – YMCA, Cedardale, etc. – who played in a few basketball leagues, even traveled a bit playing with guys from the subway in Boston, Falmouth, etc.

This continued in Houston, as did his love affair with professional sports in Boston.

“When a team comes to Houston, I go,” said Bob. “When I had my son, he fell in love with the Boston teams as well, like his father. And we have a good grounding for the Boston teams.”

They were in ALCS Game 1 in Houston on Oct. 15, a 5-4 win for the Astros.

“It was amazing, the atmosphere,” Bob recalls. “Before the game, Max came down to the screen to see the players. He spoke to (Sox rookie) Jarren Duran. He spoke to Garrett Whitlock’s dad. Then he ran back and he got the Reggie Jackson’s autograph. “

Better yet, before that day’s game, his elementary school had an “Astros Day” where boys and girls could wear Houston Astros shirts.

Max wore a Red Sox jersey. Sure.

“I asked him when he got home if there were any other kids who wore Red Sox shirts,” Bob said. “He said, ‘No, just me.’ He’s got a lot of guts, I say so. “

Max’s favorite sport and team, among all Boston teams, is the Bruins.

Not exactly what you expect from a Houston kid.

“About two and a half years ago, he woke up one morning and said, ‘I want to play hockey,’ Bob recalls. “I said, ‘Max, you don’t even skate.’ He said he wanted to learn, I’m saying he didn’t know how to skate at all.

Max ended up improving jumps and limits and tried for a team with the Houston Wild program. He made the team.

“We’ve been to Austin (TX) and Dallas before and are heading back to Austin next week,” said Bob. “He loves it. It’s definitely his passion.”

Her mother has friends who live in Boston in the same apartment building as Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak. While traveling to Boston, he met Marchand’s stepson, who plays hockey.

In fact, Max was in Boston for the Bruins’ opener with Dallas holding a sign praising Marchand. The Bruins star saw the backboard and threw a puck at him before the game.

Dad and son had planned to see the Pats-Texans game in Houston on October 10, but had to cancel due to a hockey tournament in Austin.

“People hate me here because I just wear Boston stuff,” Bob said. “And people hate me at home because I brag about the weather it’s 75 and sunny when it snows in Andover.”

Tatum sneakers, however, relieved the pain of enemies.

“They’re huge, size 16, Air Zooms,” Bob said. “At the bottom there is a heart and ‘Duece’ to honor his son. It’s pretty cool. Tatum is my new favorite player now. He’s definitely Max’s favorite too.”

While the sneakers were awesome, sharing their love of Boston sports together is the best, Dad said.

“We’re in love and we watch them all together when we can, especially the Bruins,” said Bob. “Funny, I get texts from him during the day if there’s any news from a Boston team. And I’m like, ‘Aren’t you supposed to be in school?’

“He, of course, says it’s between classes or something.” Honestly, he’s a mini-me. We’re both crazy. But I wouldn’t change a thing.

You can email Bill Burt at [email protected] Danemark/em}.

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