Watch: Boston mayor flubs names of Celtic stars

Caroline Kennedy, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Thomas Fitzgerald prepare to throw out the first pitch during 100 Years of Fenway Park ceremony before a game between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees at Fenway Park April 20, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty

(CBS News) Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has a history of fumbling names of prominent hometown athletes. Earlier this season, he called Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski "Grabowski" and wide receiver Wes Welker "Weckler."

So should it really come as a surprise that the mayor has now given Celtics stars Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett creative new nicknames?

"There's a lot of heart in this team, let me just tell you," Menino told reporters Wednesday after the Celtics topped the Heat. "KJ is great but Hondo is really the inspiration. Hondo drives that team."

Of course, we are pretty sure Menino meant to say "KG" and "Rondo." ("Hondo" was the nickname of Celtics Hall of Famer John Havlicek, now 72. "KJ" was the nickname of former Suns point guard Kevin Johnson, who is now the mayor of Sacramento).

At least Menino has a sense of humor about his foot-in-mouth sports references, tweeting this apology to Garnett and Rondo:

Menino's most infamous sports gaffe came in 2010 when he was speaking at a dedication of a statue for Bruins great Bobby Orr. Praising the history of Boston athletes, he listed the city's most iconic sports moments (or "ionic" in Menino-speak ). (Watch below)

"In Boston, we have an amazing set of remarkable athletes whose actions in the moment have become ionic (sic) in sports," he said. "Havlicek stole the ball. Fisk waving the ball fair. Flutie launched the Hail Mary pass. Varitek splitting the uprights."

Of course, it was Adam Vinatieri who famously split the uprights to win the Super Bowl in 2002. Jason Varitek is the recently retired catcher for the Boston Red Sox.

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for