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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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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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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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Can’t Keep Larry Down
Larry Bird had been out of the lineup for weeks when Boston met the Indiana Pacers in the 1992 Eastern Conference First Round. Thankfully, the Celtics didn’t require any heroics from the Indiana native and swept the Pacers in three games. The next matchup in the semifinals against the Cleveland Cavaliers proved more challenging. Although […]
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Dee Brown’s Dunking Feat
Boston’s first-round pick in the 1990 NBA Draft, Dee Brown became most famous for his “no-look” dunk to win the 1991 Slam Dunk Contest. Brown’s achievement was unique not only because he was the first Celtics player to win the Dunk Contest – he was also the first to ever participate. He recalled, “When my name came […]
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Dee-Lightful Dee Brown’s Warmup
Dee Brown captained the Celtics for three of his eight campaigns in Boston, including as a co-captain with Dominique Wilkins for the 1994-95 season. While a budding young talent, the sudden passing of teammate and close friend Reggie Lewis thrust Brown into the spotlight more quickly than planned. “Reggie Lewis dies, and all of a […]
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Gavitt and Ford Start Celtics Anew
Some changes in the Celtics front office unfolded ahead of the 1990-91 season. Big East Conference commissioner and future Hall-of-Famer Dave Gavitt became team CEO and former Celtics player Chris Ford took over as head coach. Young stars Reggie Lewis, Brian Shaw, Kevin Gamble and Dee Brown paired well with mainstays Larry Bird, Robert Parish […]
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Honoring the Garden Tradition
Imagine what the final season of the Boston Garden could have been with Len Bias and Reggie Lewis. Bias would have been just 31 early in the 1994-95 season and Lewis just 28. The loss of these young stars resonated deeply in the mid-1990s as the superstars of the past retired – first Dennis Johnson, […]
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Introducing a New Captain
Without Larry Bird, the Celtics were clearly Reggie Lewis’ team. It made sense when Lewis was elected team captain during training camp in 1992. “I think it’s great that the coaches and players have that kind of confidence in me and give me that kind of leadership on the team,” Lewis said. To help buttress […]
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Pitino Ball
Faced with four consecutive losing seasons, the Celtics turned to University of Kentucky coach and former New York Knicks boss Rick Pitino to revitalize the franchise in 1997. Pitino held two high draft picks and selected Chauncey Billups and Ron Mercer. Within weeks of taking over, Pitino released or waived eight players, including Dino Radja […]