The History of the Boston Celtics has been filled with remarkable players, heroic legends and fulfilled expectations. The magic and glamor of the Celtics Green has been forged through the years and their best representatives have been honored with the numbers sewn on their uniform hanging from the rafters of the Boston Garden. We all know Larry Bird's magical #33, Bill Russell's mythical #6 and will surely remember #34 when it will join all those stars whose agent code was singled out during the years.

But studying the history of the jerseys worn by the Boston Celtics, there is another dark story developing in silence. Certain numbers are seldom used, such as the #29 taken by Pervis Ellison back in the 90's, #41 taken by both Michael Olowokandi and later James Posey or even #50 by Eddie House. I always wonder why there are not a lot of #51s, #27s or #40s...

Today I want to study one number in particular that could certainly bring a particular sense of bad luck over the players that chose it. I will talk about #30. We tend to fear this number in our lives too, when we feel that we are getting old and that we should start being more responsible with our lifestyles, social status and work when we all turn this age (I myself closed that bridge recently).

In the history of our glorious franchise, only 10 players have worn this number:

Glenn McDonald 1974-76
Cedric Maxwell 1977-79 (also wore #31)
M.L. Carr 1979-85
Todd Lichti 1993-94
Blue Edwards 1994-95
Thomas Hamilton 1995-96
Marty Conlon 1996-97 & 1999-00 (also wore #0)
Mark Blount 2000-2006
Sebastian Telfair 2006-07
Rasheed Wallace 2009-

While I am not in the best position to comment on some of the aforementioned players, such as McDonald or M.L. Carr, I have nevertheless witnessed many games of some of the rest of them, in particular of the last three: Blount, Telfair and Wallace. Todd Lichti doesn't ring many bells as a very remarkable player, Hamilton was another Mike Sweetney in disguise, and players such as Marty Conlon or Blue Edwards would only be remembered in tb727's section of What the hell happened to...?

The last 3 men that have dared to wear these digits have different stories and different expectations, but so far the three of them have some negative traits in common:

1. Mark Blount

He lived with #30 for 6 seasons in which he delivered a clear message to Danny Ainge: I fooled you. Brought by Evil Rick out of nowhere, he showed some rebounding and hustle efforts in the first seasons which -along with his size and block shots capabilities- granted him a very lucrative contract. After that he never rebounded or blocked again, suffering from an extreme case of allergy to the paint. He also had bad chemistry in the locker room and proved to be a cancer. When he finally got shipped out of Beantown he had some disgraceful episodes against the Celtics, cheering and celebrating a victory at Minnesota back in the last days of KG in Minneapolis.

Did the number won over that early Blount of the early 2000's or was he always like that? Did the black magic contained in this number cast a spell on him? What ever happened to Mark Blount, TB?? ;)

2. Sebastian Telfair

He was supposed to lead the Celtics, the point guard that would send Rajon Rondo to the end of the bench. The hype was enormous and I admit I was deep under its influence too. The kid was talented and could certainly handle the ball. But he slowly fell into the abyss. Short, erratic and invisible on the defensive end, he would lose his position to our great Rajon and was later traded to the Wolves. Since then, we know little about him. Where is all the hype, where are all the hopes around Bassy? He used to wear #31 in Portland, and he insisted on trying to wear Maxwell's retired number that season...there must have been a reason for this. After all, Maxwell got famous with #31, after neglecting #30...Maybe we should ask Maxwell for his reasons to leave this evil number...

3. Rasheed Wallace

Currently our #30 is property of the dark version of Mr Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace. Wallace is an extremely talented big man that can really play and dominate this game. He has always been able to and he can still be one of the best forwards in the league (see the game at Philly). For some reason, he often decides to shoot too many...3s...(again 3) and lately he could score close to 0 (ehem) of them. Leaving the absurd logic of recent numerology, what it's true is that fans are starting to glimpse some traces of the lack of effort displayed by Blount and the expectations not being reached by Sheed. Is he being tricked by the number on his jersey? Is the dark legend covering Wallace and limiting his game?

In any case, and trying not to fall into the clich├ęs of superstition...should we already sign a petition for Sheed to change his number? And if so, to which should he change?

For a number, it may be more than just that after all...

p.s. I also remember two facts that could increase the legend of the Evil 30:

1. Len Bias was supposed to wear this number for us
2. Today is November 30th ;)


Bohemian 11/30/2009 02:58:00 PM Edit
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16 Responses so far.

  1. tb727 says:

    Fantastic article Bohemian!

    Yeah ya almost forgot about Bias (see my avatar).

    Telfair wanted 31 so badly because he lived on 31st street in Coney Island.

    Marty Conlon's an alum of my high school, and I actually have his personal email. Will probably write a What the Hell Happened to him soon- although he's still a legend at my high school lol

  2. JR says:

    Todd Lichti vs. Jiri Welsch, game to 21. Who wins? What Score.

    Solid piece Bohemian. I though Ray was going to take 30 when he came to the C's (and KG would take 20). Smart move on Ray's part I guess.

    TB, you should interview Marty Conlon for CelticsLife.

  3. Bohemian says:

    Thanks guys!

    I also thought about the bad luck of #42: Vin Baker, Tony Allen??

  4. tb727 says:

    Wasn't Ruben Wolkoywiski number 40 lol? I remember Chris Wallace was high on him.

  5. tb727 says:

    Oh never mind he was 45:


  6. JR says:

    Mark Acres was #42 and he was awesome. All middle school Math teachers are. :)

  7. Bohemian says:

    LOL! How about language teachers? ;)

    #45 was also used by old friend Raef, just saying :P

  8. JR says:

    Language teachers aren't as awesome. Sorry. ;)

  9. tb727 says:

    Teachers are great people- they just don't win NBA titles as key bench players. But I feel we've been through that ;)

  10. Bohemian says:

    TB, you could ask Conlon why he changed to #0, maybe he knows something about #30 :)

  11. Anonymous says:

    # 30 to me was and will always be ML Carr the towel waving do what ever is asked off him bench player. So there is hope for the current #30 Rasheed in never met a three pointer I didn't like Wallace!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Wasn't Posey #43?

  13. Bohemian says:

    41 for Posey


  14. Bohemian says:

    It seems #30 is really doomed, Wallace is underachieving badly...unless there is a change in the next games I am starting to see Mark Blount's lack of effort and Telfair's fallen hype mixing in Sheed's game this season. Come on Sheed, prove something please!

  15. Bohemian says:

    Troy Murphy isn't exactly being very lucky wearing #30 either... the spell continues

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