Jackie MacMullan

  • Award-winning columnist and author
  • Recipient of Basketball Hall of Fame Curt Gowdy Media Award
  • Joined ESPNBoston.com in 2010

    RSS »Search more Jackie MacMullan »

  • Rob Gronkowski can't be stopped

    Rob Gronkowski was held in check for a half, but we all knew that wouldn't last.

    Patriots keep opponents guessing

    The Pats are adapting each week, keeping their opponents guessing.

    QB took the long way home

    BC's Tyler Murphy found his fit in college football just a few years too late

    Patriots keep getting better and better

    The Patriots, who are in control of the AFC, continue to get better.

    Patriots make short work of Broncos

    The Pats and Tom Brady again got the better of Peyton Manning at Foxborough.

    Gronk's long road back to greatness

    Rob Gronkowski is himself again, but the road back was tougher than it looked.

    Rajon Rondo makes all the difference

    Rajon Rondo reminded us all what he can do in dismantling the Nets.

    Curt Schilling not hiding his scars

    After bankruptcy and battle with cancer, Curt Schilling is not hiding his scars.

    Danny Amendola finally makes good

    Danny Amendola came out of his funk just in time to save the Patriots.

    Claude Julien an enduring success

    Claude Julien knows disappointment -- and how to overcome it.

    Tom Brady returns fire on critics

    Tom Brady answered his critics with a fiery performance against the Bengals.

    Pats' offense has ground to make up

    Even in victory, the Patriots' offense has a lot of ground to make up.

    Can Bill Belichick hear clock ticking?

    The clock undoubtedly is ticking for the New England Patriots, writes Jackie MacMullan, but does Bill Belichick hear it?

    For Brady, age isn't the enemy

    As Tom Brady turns 37, an insatiable need for perfection keeps him going, writes Jackie MacMullan.

    Jon Lester's awkward adventure

    Jon Lester's awkward adventure continues as the Red Sox mull a trade.

    Outhustling his demons

    Marcus Smart overcame a difficult childhood to reach his dream.

    Red Sox still searching for offense

    A worthy sequel to 2013 can't be written without better run production.

    Kevin Love-to-Boston is no sure thing

    While hearts are racing, Celtics fans should cool their jets on Kevin Love.

    Bruins left to lament bitter ending

    The B's were left to lament a bitter ending after the Habs won Game 7.

    B's handle Habs, put worries to rest

    Put your mind at ease. The Bruins controlled the Habs in a pivotal Game 5.

    Boston reclaims Patriots' Day beauty

    Boston banded together to reclaim the marathon on a beautiful Patriots' Day.

    Why they'll run

    Why they'll run: Marathoners affected by bombings share what motivates them.

    Boston's healing doesn't come easy

    One year after the Marathon bombings, the healing still doesn't come easy.

    Fenway stars on celebratory stage

    Fenway was the star of the celebratory show as the Red Sox got their rings.

    Paul Pierce goes home again

    There's little doubt that Paul Pierce's heart remains in Boston.

    What Brady wants to say but can't

    What Tom Brady wants to say to Bill Belichick but can't.

    Tom Brady, Patriots lost opportunity

    There are no excuses: The Patriots simply were dominated by the Broncos.

    A chemistry forged by triumph, failure

    Two of a kind, Brady and Belichick mutually invested in reclaiming throne.

    Robert Kraft steady at the helm

    Robert Kraft has navigated the Pats through 20 years of highs and lows.

    Blount gives Pats a new blueprint

    The Patriots have a new blueprint for success thanks to LeGarrette Blount.

    Competition fuels Edelman's fire

    Julian Edelman's success no surprise to those who know him best.

    Doc Rivers still bleeding green

    Doc Rivers just can't shake his Celtics ties -- but he's fine with that.

    Patriots able to do the impossible

    The Patriots accomplished the impossible by taking it one play at a time.

    Brad Stevens' story isn't storybook

    C's coach Brad Stevens' rise to the NBA was forged in a fair share of failure.

    Pedey's hands hold Red Sox together

    Dustin Pedroia didn't let a thumb injury stop him from aiding Boston's cause.

    Red Sox cap total turnaround

    The Red Sox came together with something to prove -- and did just that.

    Lester comes up aces

    Jon Lester's Game 5 masterpiece is something only a legit ace could pull off.

    Sox shrug off long odds (yes, again)

    The Red Sox shrugged off long odds (yes, again) to pull even with the Cards.

    Sox can't get hung up on obstruction

    The odd end of Game 3 is hard to swallow, but the Sox must refocus.

    Trading places

    Like St. Louis in Game 1, the Sox sank in Game 2 under the weight of mistakes.

    Red Sox accept gifts from above

    The Red Sox cleaned up after the sloppy Cardinals, taking a Game 1 rout.

    Patience pays off for Bogaerts

    Barely 21, Xander Bogaerts is showing poise and patience beyond his years.

    Sweet Victorino slam on grand stage

    Shane Victorino went from potential goat to ALCS hero in one fateful swing.

    The Koji legend grows

    Turns out, Boston's accidental closer thrives under the big-game spotlight.

    Sox enter Game 5 half-full, half-empty

    Lucky to be tied at 2-2, the Sox better start hitting to have any ALCS hope.

    A defining moment for Lackey

    Boston's hard-luck John Lackey gives the performance of his Red Sox career.

    Thrill ride with a double loop

    The Sox and Pats took Boston fans on a thrill ride with a double loop.

    Detour on the road to redemption

    Game 1 of the ALCS was a detour on the Red Sox's road to redemption.

    It's time to embrace Jacoby Ellsbury

    Jacoby Ellsbury is proving his worth -- and grit -- on baseball's biggest stage.

    The power of redemption

    From management to players, the Sox thrived on having something to prove.

    Tom Brady, rookie WRs get results

    Tom Brady's connections with his rookie receivers were worth shouting about.

    Will patience pay off for Brady, Pats?

    Sloppy play versus the Jets frustrated Tom Brady, but help is coming.

    Remembering Reggie Lewis

    Twenty years after Reggie Lewis' tragic death, Boston still aches for him.

    The battle of Shane Victorino

    From injury-prone troublemaker to fan favorite, Shane Victorino has arrived.

    Brace for Celtics' battle of futility

    Tanking might be necessary for the C's, but it's never easy. Just ask M.L. Carr.

    Bruins' fortunes change in flash

    The Bruins' shot at Game 7 for the Cup slipped away in just 17 seconds.

    Bruins burned by Blackhawks' sizzle

    The B's lost Game 4 by letting the desperate Hawks dictate the fast pace.

    Claude Julien a rock for Bruins

    With the Bruins positioned to win another cup, Claude Julien can do no wrong.

    Bruins defensemen making points

    The Bruins' defensemen are scoring goals in addition to stopping them.

    B's team effort trumps superstar Pens

    The gritty B's are back in the Cup finals after a sweep of the superstar Pens.

    Sinking feeling in Pitt's stomach

    The Bruins took a 3-0 lead despite the presumed favorite Penguins' best shot.

    Patience (finally) pays off for Krug

    After years of watching and learning, it's finally Torey Krug's time to shine.

    Rask slams door on doubt, Rangers

    Tuukka Rask and the B's slammed the door on doubt and the Rangers.

    Terry Francona where he belongs

    Terry Francona is back where he belongs -- on a baseball diamond.

    Doc's not going anywhere -- right?

    Everyone expects Doc Rivers will be back, but he still hasn't said so.

    Doc Rivers has tough road ahead

    Doc Rivers' job will be much tougher when Kevin Garnett leaves the Celtics.

    It's hard, but it's time to say goodbye

    Pierce and KG deserve another shot at a title, but it's not happening in Boston.

    Feeling green in a New York minute

    The trusty Celtics stunned N.Y. in Game 5. Can they pull the ultimate upset?

    KG's toughest foe is Father Time

    With the C's season on the brink, KG is battling age as much as the Knicks.

    Paul Pierce not giving up the ship

    Paul Pierce went to great lengths to put off talk of his future with the Celtics.

    Face facts: Celtics are overmatched

    Parquet pride will boost undermanned C's, but reality eventually sets it.

    Lonely road for Celtics in New York

    The Celtics found out the hard way they're on a lonely road in New York.

    Not ready to move on yet

    The Bruins, Celtics and Sox will help, but images of the tragedy won't go away.

    Sox bringing fun back to Fenway

    Red Sox are winning back a fan base that turned from angry to apathetic.

    Red Sox make most of clean slate

    Jackie Bradley Jr. and other Red Sox newcomers bring life to the team.

    Paul Pierce not giving in

    With the Celtics losing while focused on rest, Paul Pierce isn't taking it easy.

    No Kevin Garnett, no chance

    It seems the Celtics simply can't compete without Kevin Garnett's fire.

    Taking one for the team (as usual)

    Best-laid plans spoiled by injuries, Paul Pierce puts the Celtics on his shoulders.

    Kraft found a friend in Buss

    Robert Kraft and Jerry Buss learned the ropes together.

    Harnessing Jeff Green's energy

    The C's are reaping the benefits as Jeff Green flourishes in a magnified role.

    Ainge: Celts 'different' without Rondo

    Danny Ainge says the Celtics are "different" without Rondo, not better.

    Kobe Bryant dishes on Celtics

    Kobe dishes on Celtics rivalry, Rondo's injury and talking trash with Pierce.

    Rajon Rondo's injury hits hard

    Rajon Rondo's ACL tear sent shockwaves through Boston and beyond.

    Tom Brady in unfamiliar place

    While Tom Brady made critical mistakes, the Ravens' Joe Flacco was unflappable.

    Patriots, Tom Brady outclass Texans

    With another Super Bowl in sight, the Patriots simply pushed the Texans aside.

    Logan Mankins tractor-tough as ever

    Much has changed for Logan Mankins, but he's as tractor-tough as ever.

    John Farrell, best of both worlds

    Best of both worlds: John Farrell brings familiarity, fresh perspective to the Sox.

    Patriots' problems come at bad time

    After looking like the team to beat, the Patriots helped beat themselves.

    Patriots' defense comes of age

    Once again, the Patriots' defense is rounding into form when it counts.

    Matt Schaub presents challenge

    The Pats' defense figures to have a hard time keeping Matt Schaub in his place.

    Paul Pierce still pilots Celts in clutch

    OKC found out the hard way that Paul Pierce still pilots the C's in crunch time.

    'Old reliable' does it again

    'Old reliable' Tom Brady puts hot-shot rookie Andrew Luck in his place.

    Luck pushes Pats-Colts stakes higher

    Andrew Luck is pushing the stakes higher in the Pats-Colts rivalry.

    Ray just latest twist in C's-Heat saga

    Ray Allen's defection is just the latest twist in the Celtics-Heat drama.

    Ray plays down the rift

    Despite his exit and a war of words, Ray Allen says he'll always be a Celtic.

    Patriots continue to puzzle

    The Patriots solved the Jets, but they continue to be a puzzle this season.

    Rajon Rondo: All grown up

    Rajon Rondo steps out of the shadows, revealing the Celtics' true leader.

    Brady-Manning has new wrinkles

    Old rivals Tom Brady and Peyton Manning showed some new wrinkles.

    Doc Rivers OK without Ray Allen

    Doc Rivers likes his new foursome of guards, without Ray Allen.

    Patience with replacements flagging

    Patriots-Ravens showed enough is enough: Replacement refs must go.

    Patriots don't look like themselves

    We used to be able to count on the Patriots. But now, maybe not.

    Wes Welker's one and only goal

    Wes Welker's one and only goal is to win a Super Bowl ring with the Pats.

    Not expecting Rivers family union

    The idea of Doc Rivers coaching son Austin is as unlikely as it is intriguing.

    Celtics in good hands with Doc

    Big Three or no Big Three, the Celtics are in good hands with Doc Rivers.

    Boston wilts in face of Heat

    The C's didn't just let a close-out chance slip, they got steamrolled.

    Celtics been there, done that

    The Celtics made the naysayers eat their words by answering the Heat.

    Wade's miss gives Celtics life

    Dwyane Wade's missed trey gives the Celtics new life against the Heat.

    Suddenly, we have a series

    The Big 4 took charge against the Heat, but the C's bench made the difference .

    Celtics' best not good enough

    The Celtics gave it their all, but they still couldn't beat the Heat.

    Celtics in a losing battle?

    The Heat's Demolition Duo strikes again and the weary Celtics have no answers.

    Rajon Rondo arrives just in time

    Was there ever a doubt Rajon Rondo would spark the Celtics? Well ...

    Brandon Bass 'the man'? You bet

    Brandon Bass was 'the man' for the Celtics in Game 5? You bet he was.

    The Truth hurts (and 76ers know it)

    With Paul Pierce playing on one leg, the C's need someone else to deliver.

    Celts walk on the wild side -- and win

    Weary, creaky, injured, plodding C's walk on the wild side -- and win Game 1.

    'Reluctant scorer' KG cuts up Hawks

    KG went off in all facets of Game 6 -- including the postgame podium.

    Celtics haven't closed curtains yet

    The Celtics know one blowout win doesn't mean the Hawks are finished.

    Rajon Rondo catches the eye again

    You can't take your eyes off the talented, mercurial, frenetic Rajon Rondo.

    Changing of the Celtics guards

    Rondo has emerged from Ray Allen's shadow, but the C's hopes ride on both.

    Rondo makes bad situation worse

    Rajon Rondo made a bad situation worse by getting himself suspended.

    Bruins' magic dashed in a flash

    The B's magic was dashed as the Caps stunned the Cup champs in Boston.

    Heart and soul return to Fenway

    As Boston celebrates Fenway's history, Pedro and Millar are fitting toastmasters.

    Unforgettable Fenway

    One Fenway Park memory stands out above the rest: the 1999 All-Star Game.

    Don't sleep on Green giants

    The Celtics are playing themselves into prime position to contend in the East.

    Bruins feeling positive vibe

    Tim Thomas is positive he and the Bruins have moved on from their slump.

    When greatness comes in threes

    For Bird, McHale and Parish, the 2012 Celtics stir bittersweet memories.

    Rajon Rondo turns it on for Celtics

    When the lights are brightest, Rajon Rondo always seems to shine.

    Take a deep breath, Patriots fans

    Pull yourselves together, Patriots fans. Simply put, the better team won.

    By slim margin, Patriots 2nd-best again

    Where Brady and the Patriots made mistakes, Eli and the Giants made plays.

    Gostkowski poised to pop in the clutch

    Untested in the clutch, Pats K Stephen Gostkowski is ready for the Super stage.

    Wilfork has grown into his role

    Learning self-control has turned Vince Wilfork into the Pats' defensive beacon.

    Dante Scarnecchia always there

    Longtime Pats coach Dante Scarnecchia has worked wonders this season.

    Bill Belichick: Everybody's critic

    No one is safe from critic-at-large Bill Belichick during Patriots film sessions.

    Past matchup won't fade away

    The Pats need to forget the Super Bowl loss to the Giants, but it won't be easy.

    Patriots had angel looking out for them

    Divine intervention or dumb luck, the Patriots get another shot at the Giants.

    Ninkovich's new role -- Pats playmaker

    Unheralded Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich has a new role: Playmaker.

    That Tom Brady is no Tim Tebow

    Motivated by recent playoff failings, Tom Brady left no doubt who is the best.

    Just another twist in Tebow-mania

    Josh McDaniels' ties to Tim Tebow make him part of the pregame drama.

    Yes, it's time to worry, folks

    It's not a good sign when Celtics fans are cringing -- instead of cheering.

    It's good to be Gronk

    It's good to be Gronk, the Pats All-Pro who's having the time of his life.

    The Truth doesn't hurt

    Paul Pierce's debut wasn't the only reason the C's won, but The Truth didn't hurt.

    Ainge's airball could signal trouble

    The Celtics' inability to lure an imapct player for this season clouds the future.

    Tyler Seguin gets up to speed

    Tyler Seguin's patience and hard work have him on the fast track to stardom.

    Finally, it's time to talk baseball

    Sox Nation steps into Bobby's World, and how we got here doesn't matter anymore.

    Rob Gronkowski making major impact

    Record-setting tight end and emerging folk hero, Rob Gronkowski does it again.

    Patriots show their grit, guts, sweat

    The Patriots showed what they're made of -- grit, guts and determination.

    New GM Cherington swinging for fences

    Sox GM Ben Cherington's preparation began in the heyday of Jim Rice & Co.

    Tom Brady solves puzzle in end

    It took a while, but Tom Brady solved Rob Ryan's defensive puzzle in the end.

    Theo Epstein: Dream job to nightmare

    Even though we saw it coming, Theo Epstein's departure still is stunning.

    Just another win for Pats? Yeah, right

    Tom Brady and the Patriots had to enjoy getting the better of the Jets.

    Bruins' Cup run won't be forgotten

    The grittiness and togetherness of the Cup champion Bruins won't be forgotten.

    Unlikable Red Sox flunked chemistry

    Somehow the Red Sox became what they once abhorred -- arrogant and entitled.

    Red Sox feeling weight of swoon

    While the Sox try to tune out negativity, signs of frustration show through.

    Defense comes up with big plays in win

    The Pats defense bent some Sunday, but came up with enough big plays to win.

    Tom Brady's time starting to run out

    Tom Brady, now 34, realizes his time for winning championships is running out.

    Jacoby Ellsbury feeling no pain

    After a season full of questions, Jacoby Ellsbury has had all the answers.

    Bruins take their rightful place

    At long last, the tough-luck Bruins join Boston's circle of champions.

    Teamwork, resilience delivered Cup

    Teamwork, resilience and toughness meant an end to the Bruins' drought.

    Bruins need to embrace pressure

    There's nothing in sports like a Game 7. The B's need to embrace that pressure.

    Roberto Luongo fails to deliver again

    Big-talking Roberto Luongo again missed his connection to Boston.

    For Bruins, their time is now

    Game 5 is a must-win for the B's in order for the series turnaround to matter.

    Tim Thomas somehow has doubters

    Tim Thomas continues to be a rock, but somehow the Canucks aren't convinced.

    Bruins respond to hit with force

    The Bruins' response to the hit on Nathan Horton blew away the Canucks.

    For Doc and Shaq, no regrets

    They didn't win a ring together, but Doc and Shaq enjoyed their short journey.

    Neely's imprint on Bruins' turnaround

    Cam Neely has made good on his promise to get the Bruins turned around.

    It's safe to believe in these Bruins

    It's OK, Boston: It's safe to believe in this finals-bound Bruins team.

    Can Bruins get it done in Game 7?

    Do the Bruins have the mindset to win one more Game 7?

    Tim Thomas shows Bruins the way

    The Bruins somehow found a way to win Game 5, thanks to Tim Thomas.

    Danny Ainge 'disappointed' in Celts' end

    Danny Ainge is 'disappointed', but still believes in the team's core.

    Beaten Celtics say they'll be back

    Beaten Celtics say they'll be back, but will they be able to keep up with the Heat?

    Delonte's time has come

    With Rajon Rondo hurting, the Celtics are counting on a tough, eager Delonte West.

    'Inexcusable' mistakes put C's on brink

    Blunders in crunch time of Game 4 could prove to be a nail in the C's coffin.

    Celtics stifle Heat with defense

    The Celtics jolted the Heat with heavy defense to get back in the series.

    Ten reasons why Celts will win Game 3

    Ten reasons why the Celtics will win Game 3 and make this a series.

    Celtics getting pushed around by Heat

    After getting pushed around for two games, the Celtics need to push back.

    Did Paul Pierce learn his lesson?

    Paul Pierce knows he overreacted, but he says he'll still bring emotion to Game 2.

    Paul Pierce should know better

    Paul Pierce has no excuse for letting his team down with his Game 1 ejection.

    How Rondo got his groove back

    Rajon Rondo is his confident self again after mental, physical funk.

    Jeff Green hasn't found his way yet

    Jeff Green has had a lot to overcome, but still has time to win over Celtics fans.

    Celtics on their game again

    In finishing off the Knicks, the Celtics again showed the fire of champions.

    Celtics need reserves to snap out of it

    If the Celtics want to win down the road, the second unit must step up.

    Rondo's reappearance act

    Rajon Rondo has regained his verve, which means it's over for the Knicks.

    Should Celtics train a new top dog?

    Would a more aggressive Kevin Garnett help the Celtics' late-game offense?

    Theo's pitch hits the mark

    Theo Epstein's pregame pep talk might have been just what the Sox needed.

    Going bold nothing new for Ainge

    Still defending the Perk trade, Danny Ainge knows the final verdict's not in yet.

    Rajon Rondo rounding into form

    Rajon Rondo undoubtedly has been in a funk, but he hasn't been doubting himself.

    Taming Blake Griffin doesn't help Celtics

    The Celtics quieted Blake Griffin but couldn't stop the Clippers.

    Celtics still in position to win

    The Kendrick Perkins trade caused a stir, but left the Celtics in position to win.

    Kevin Garnett won't change his style

    Kevin Garnett's not toning down anything, which is how the Celtics want it.

    Celtics keep Heat in their place

    Despite being ripe for the picking, the Celtics kept the Heat in their place.

    Preparation is key to Ray Allen's 3s

    Ray Allen has talent, especially from the arc -- and he worked hard for it.

    No what-ifs for Perkins this time

    Kendrick Perkins gets his chance against the Lakers in a 2010 Finals rematch.

    'Second season' not kind to Patriots

    'Uncharacteristic' mistakes have become the norm for the Patriots in the playoffs.

    Pats' old reliables go up in smoke

    The postseason luster is officially gone from Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.

    Jets out for blood, but will it matter?

    The Jets want blood, but will that matter against the tunnel-vision Patriots?

    Wes Welker's boundless resilience

    Knee surgery, naysayers, DBs -- it seems none can slow down Wes Welker.

    Patriots imperfect, but still good enough

    Imperfect as they were Sunday night, the Patriots are still on top in the AFC.

    Tom Brady: The best at his best

    Somehow, the great Tom Brady has taken his game to an even higher level.

    Bill and Rex more alike than you'd think

    Though opposites, Belichick and Ryan have one big thing in common: winning.

    For Branch, so many reasons to smile

    Back where he belongs, Deion Branch is again energizing the Patriots.

    Russell Westbrook takes the matchup

    Celtics-Thunder was a battle of the PGs, and Russell Westbrook took the honors.

    David Ortiz wanted 'something different'

    David Ortiz is "fine" with the Sox picking up his option, but he wanted more.

    Heat had no answer for Rajon Rondo

    Is Rajon Rondo the top PG in the NBA? He's certainly making his case.

    Heat back to square one vs. Celtics

    The Heat are again facing the Celtics -- and questions about their flaws.

    Does Randy Moss want a mulligan?

    Randy Moss sounds like a man who knows he made a mistake.

    Celtics put a stop to Heat hype

    The Celtics put a stop to the Heat hype with their trademark defense.

    Pierce: Most pain gone, some lingers

    Paul Pierce's injuries were worse than we knew last season, and some pain lingers.

    Patriots get pointed in right direction

    The Patriots' stirring win over the Ravens shows they're on the right track.

    Ego brought Randy Moss down

    Randy Moss could've, should've and would've but won't, thanks to his ego.

    Shaq ready to leave mark in Boston

    Shaq opens up about his new teammates, motivation, Kobe, LeBron and more.

    Don't count Jets out against Patriots

    The Jets might be 0-1 but don't count them out against the Patriots on Sunday.

    Randy Moss put himself first

    Randy Moss did just what he said he didn't want to -- take away from a win.

    All in all, not a bad week for Brady

    All in all, it wasn't a bad week at all for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.