Nowadays Lavelli isn't well remembered as either one. He hasn't had a gig in ages, and he's out of touch with his former Celtics teammates. A lifelong bachelor—"Never had time," he says—Lavelli invests in real estate, plays the stock market and dreams of a comeback in music.
He laments the passing from public favor of two things: the accordion and the hook shot. "I haven't had an engagement in 10 years," he says. "But I'm ready to go back on the circuit anytime." He says of the hook, "It's a great weapon, and I don't know why more coaches don't teach it. I loved to watch Abdul-Jabbar shoot it. To perfect it requires a tremendous amount of dedication. Tony Lavelli worked on it for hours and hours. And when he got it down pat, nobody could stop it—not George Mikan or anybody else.
"A classic hook shot is like a beautiful piece of music. But to make either one work takes constant practice. Tony Lavelli had the dedication to succeed at, and to enjoy, both of them."