Today gives slow a new meaning. The Herald is still touting USA over Germany as it's lead headline. Even the Blogs are getting slow with articles. Everyone is running out of things to talk about since nothing new has happened for a long time. Only 29 days until Training Camp now and there is always the possibility that Danny will pull the trigger on a big trade between now and then, but in the meantime, we have rehashed everything in the world about the Celtics. No other team has as much history as the Celtics. The biggest quandary that players have when coming to Boston is trying to find a number that hasn't been retired. Consider that Telfair couldn't have the number he has worn since high school because it was retired. When Danny was trying to get Karl Malone to come to Boston, one issue was that his number was retired there. The Celtics have more retired numbers than any other team in the NBA. But who are the people behind all those retired numbers? I figured this slow offseason was a good time to check it out.
Number 1 was retired on October 17, 1964 for the Celtics founder and the first owner of the franchise, Walter Brown. After succeeding his father as manager of the Boston Garden, he helped to found the Basketball Association of America in 1946, and was instrumental in merging the BAA and the National Basketball League into the National Basketball Association in 1949. He founded the Celtics in 1945, and helped to transform the team into a dynasty, as the Celtics won six championships in the seven years. He also was instrumental in the creation of the first NBA All-Star Game in 1951, which was played in the Boston Garden.
Number 2 was retired on January 4, 1985 in honor of Arnold "Red" Auerbach. Red is the face and the heart of the Celtics. The number 2 was retired for him to signify the fact that Red is second only to Walter Brown as the most significant person in the history of the Boston Celtics.... He was the Head Coach of the team from 1950 through 1966, during which he won nine Championships that included eight straight from 1958 through 1966...After his coaching career, he went on to serve as President and General Manager, leading the Celtics to an additional seven NBA championships. Red could always be seen in the stands lighting his trademark cigar at the end of every Celtics victory.
Number 3 was retired on December 13, 1991 in honor of Dennis Johnson. DJ" played for the Celtics for seven seasons, from 1983 through 1990...He helped lead the Celtics to a pair of NBA world championship titles in 1984 and 1986. DJ was always a clutch player and seemed to step up his game in the playoffs. He was known for his defense and was a perennial fixture on the NBA all defensive team. Larry Bird called DJ the best player he ever played with and that is some very high praise. DJ was an Assistant Coach for the Celtics from 1992 through 1997. He is currently the coach of the Austin Toros, which will be our D-League affiliate this season.
Number 6 was retired on March 12, 1972 for Bill Russell, who is considered to be one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Russell anchored the Celtics teams that won nine World Championships, winning 8 in a row at one time. Russell is the Celtics all-time leading rebounder with 21,620 rebounds which is an astounding average of 22.5 per game. Russell was declared to be the Greatest Player in the History of the NBA by the Professional Basketball Writers' Association of America in 1980. He made the All Star team every year in his career except his rookie year. When Red Auerbach retired, Bill Russell became a player coach of the Celtics for three seasons, 1966 through 1969, finishing with a record of 162-83 (.661) and two world championship titles in 1968 and 1969.
Number 10 was retired on April 9, 1982 for JoJo White, who was the point guard that led the Celtics offense and propelled the 1974 and 1976 teams to NBA world championship titles. JoJo played for the Celtics from 1969 to the 1979 season and was a member of the gold-medal-winning U.S. Olympic Team in 1968. JoJo was a seven-time NBA All-Star and he reached the pinnacle of his career in 1976. On June 4 at the hot, jam-packed Boston Garden in Game 5 of the NBA Championship Finals against the Phoenix Suns, White led the Celtics with 33 points spread out over 60 minutes in the now famous 128-126 triple-overtime victory and was named the Finals MVP. JoJo remains with the Celtics organization, serving as Director of Special Projects and Community Relations Representative. He was the Celtics representative at the last draft lottery drawing.
Number 14 was retired on October 16, 1963 in honor of Bob Cousy. Bob Cousy was one of the greatest playmakers and passers in NBA history Cousy spent all 13 of his NBA seasons with the Celtics. He had the nickname of "The Houdini of the Hardwood" Anyone watching him play would know how that nickname came about. He helped lead the Celtics to six NBA world championship titles. Cousy was a 13-time NBA All-Star, making the team in each of his 13 seasons in the NBA. He remains the Celtics all-time assists leader with 6,945. Cousy has enjoyed a very public life in retirement. He made a cameo appearance in the movie Blue Chips, and has worked at different capacities for the Celtics since his playing days were over. He can often be seen with Mike and Tommy broadcasting the Celtics games.
Number 15 was retired on October 15, 1966 for Tommy Heinsohn. If anyone can be considered a Celtic for Life, it is Tommy Heinsohn. He helped the Celtics capture eight NBA world championship titles in his nine-year playing career, all with the Celtics...He was Head Coach of the Celtics for nine years from 1969 through 1978, and guided the Celtics to two more NBA titles. He was the NBA Coach of the Year in 1973. For the past 25 years, Tommy has paired with Mike Gorman as the TV analysts for the Celtics' games. He loves the Celtics and doesn't make any effort to hide it.