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50 Years of the NBA
The NBA celebrated its 50th anniversary season in 1996-97. As part of the festivities, the Association announced its list of the “50 Greatest Players” which included 13 Celtics, featuring franchise stalwarts Bob Cousy, Bill Sharman, Sam Jones, Bill Russell, John Havlicek, Dave Cowens, Tiny Archibald, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish. That season’s team […]
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A Season of Changes
With the encouragement of team patriarch Red Auerbach, the Celtics hired former player and Phoenix Suns Coach Danny Ainge as the new Director of Basketball Operations. Ainge wasted little time reshaping the roster, sending three-time All-Star Antoine Walker and starting guard Tony Delk to the Dallas Mavericks just a week before the 2003-04 season started. […]
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A Ways to Go
Following a forgettable 1998-99 season, Coach and Team President Rick Pitino continued to tinker with the team during the 1999-2000 campaign. He traded leading scorer Ron Mercer and two others to the Denver Nuggets for former college star Danny Fortson and Eric Williams, whom Pitino had previously traded away in 1997. Despite Fortson missing the […]
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Ainge Cleans House in 2003
From the time he was hired in May 2003, Director of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge worked to overhaul the roster by making five trades before the end of the year. One notable deal in October sent star forward Antoine Walker to the Dallas Mavericks. The December trade of Eric Williams, Tony Battie and Kedrick Brown […]
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An Un-Celtics-Like Season
As the Celtics and the NBA celebrated their 50th anniversary season in 1996-97, Boston didn’t have much to celebrate with an injured team. Top scorers Dino Radja, Dana Barros and Dee Brown all played in 25 or fewer games, leaving young players like David Wesley, Eric Williams and rookie Antoine Walker to pick up the […]
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Antoine Always Had Time for the Fans
Part of being a professional athlete is showing up for the fans, even after a rough night. In December 2001, Antoine Walker struggled to a 0-for-11 night from 3-point range as Boston lost on the road to the Philadelphia 76ers. That didn’t stop Walker from signing autographs for Celtics fans who made the trip to […]
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Bluegrass to Green: Rick Pitino
In 1997, the Celtics tapped University of Kentucky Coach Rick Pitino to run the team. He already had some experience coaching in New England with former stints at Boston University and Providence College. Pitino took on the twin titles of team president and head coach of the Celtics and a 10-year contract. He vowed to […]
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Bringing Danny Back to Boston
After reaching the Eastern Conference Finals in 2002, the Celtics took a step back the following postseason. Boston dropped five games in the standings and bowed out in the second round of the 2003 NBA Playoffs. Not waiting for the season’s end, the team hired former Celtics All-Star player and Phoenix Suns Coach Danny Ainge […]
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Celtics Wobbler
Bobbleheads have a history that go back centuries to religious art. “Nodders” became popular baseball collectables in the 1960s before modern bobbleheads came into fashion in the late 1990s. By 2003, the Celtics teamed up with Southwest Airlines on a series of bobbleheads starting with Paul Pierce and Red Auerbach. Soon bobbleheads of Doc Rivers, […]
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Coaching Transitions in ’01
After three straight losing seasons and a 12-22 start, the Rick Pitino era came to a sudden end on January 8, 2001, when he resigned both his roles as head coach and team president. Jim O’Brien stepped into the role as interim head coach and the Celtics won 18 of 31 down the stretch. Young […]