He took the term "corpse" to an entire new level.  But he played with Larry Bird, even if it was the 1989 season and Larry only played 6 games.  You may remember Ramon Rivas.

Rivas was on that Puerto Rican National Team along with Jose Ortiz who played for the Jazz.  They gave that 1990 Men's FIBA National Championship Team all they could handle in the Bronze Medal Game.  I remember watching that game and not understanding.  Then I realized how the American team wasn't pros and the Puerto Rican team was.

Rivas' entire NBA career consisted of the one 1988-89 campaign for the Celtics.  He played college basketball at Temple and went undrafted.  Boston signed him on August 26, 1988.  He played in 28 games and scored 40 points in his entire career.  For his trouble he pocketed $100,000.  Obviously he didn't make what Dwayne Schintzius made and can't live the good life.  But don't tell that to Otis Birdsong.

As I mentioned in my last Ronnie Grandison article, the calendar I had for that season put every Celtic player on their own month.  But since there were 13 players on the roster and only 12 months, Rivas had to share with Ronnie Grandison.

Today, according to his wikipedia page (which was obviously written by someone for whom English is a second language) Ramon Rivas does the Spanish Broadcasts for the Orlando Magic.  Which isn't too surprising since I saw a Magic game recently where they showed him and he waved to the camera but didn't say who it was.  I never forget a former Celtic, no matter how obscure. 

One thing Rivas has going for himself is he's actually in a couple of NBA photos online in Celtics' attire.

In 2011 when the Celtics signed Carlos Arroyo, he purposefully wore #45 to honor Rivas, the first Puerto-Rican born athlete to play for the Celtics.  Carlos had some nice words:
Who are those 2 guys to Ramon Rivas' right?

“[Rivas] is one of those guys, as him being a Hispanic, Puerto Rican guy, that really opened the doors for us in the earlier days. Being a fellow Puerto Rican and part of this franchise, hearing how people praised him when he was here and how great of a player he was, I wanted to follow in his steps while I was here in Boston. It's my way to honor him and he's one of the Hall of Famers from my country.” 

Rivas surely isn't a Hall of Famer in this country.  (It's like when people would say Kurt Thomas lead the nation in scoring and rebounding, and the retort was "what nation?")  And Carlos can expect to have a WTHHT written on him too one day.

PS- This is not the same Ramon Rivas doing standup either.

Addendum: Seems like Rivas loved getting into fights.  Here's a picture of him and felllow-WTHHT star Tony Massenburg I stumbled upon while researching Tony:

For a list of all the "What the Hell Happened To" Series please click here.

tb727 2/04/2010 07:21:00 PM Edit
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16 Responses so far.

  1. Norman D says:

    This is an interesting segment you have. I'd prefer something with a haiku though. Maybe you should try it.

  2. Bohemian says:

    Ramon Rivas forever! Thanks for all these WTHHT articles TB :) Rivas didn't play bad in Spain, but I just continue to wonder how could he manage to play for our Celtics.

    Your link in Spanish talks about an incident while he played for Cáceres team in Spain. He was already on the "downside" of his career (imagine how that could be). During a game in which he got a whooping total of 3 rebounds in 30 minutes (being probably the center of that team) the fans started complaining and booing him. He lost his nerves (being quite a dirty player according to the comments by the current fans that remember his play there) he responded to his own crowd with an obscenity :P

  3. tb727 says:

    Wow thanks so much for translating that Bohemian! I remember Ortiz as a dirty player, Rivas might have been one as well.

    Now if only you could translate those Stojko Vrankovic articles haha!

  4. JR says:

    I might be wrong, but I remember Tommy coining the phrase "wide body" back during Rivas's time and Ramon Rivas being the poster boy.

  5. tb727 says:

    You'd know much better than me on that. I was subjected to about one TNT game a month along with one or two CBS/NBC games. The rest of the time I'd listen to score updates on 1010 WINS Radio at 15 and 45 past the hour. No bottom line ticker, no internet. Then I normally wouldn't see highlights the next day, just hope that a boxscore was in the local paper. Geez I should write an article on being a huge Celtics fan without even getting to see the games. Awful stuff lol...

  6. Bohemian says:

    LOL! I wish I could understand what Stojko says :)

  7. Larry says:

    Dud write something productive and intelligent . your article stinks, This is what I call haters. Try to make more income so you can move away from your parents home hahaha.

  8. tb727 says:

    Haha a softspot for Rivas huh Larry? He flat-out SUCKED. Was a waste of a roster spot. Wasn't NBA-ready.

    Good thing the Celtics weren't that competitive that season otherwise he'd probably feel my wrath similar to Acres and Lohaus.

    And I've lived on my own longer than you've probably been alive.

  9. Eric says:

    Some highlights from Rivas career:

    Temple reached the NCAA Tournament every year that he played and where ranked 1st in the Nation in his Senior year;

    Played with Tau Ceramica for most of his european career, reaching the King's Cup (spanish league midseason tournament) 6 straight times, making 2 finals and wining it 1 time; reaching the Eurocup Finals 3 straight years and finally wining it in 1996 against Peja Stojakovic and PAOK Thessaloniki (he was also named MVP with 32 points and 15 boards); the next year he won the Spanish League with Barcelona;

    Rivas and Jose Ortiz were the frontline of the best PR National Team, who beat Yugoslavia (Divac, Petrovic, Kukoc, Radja) in Seoul 1988 and in the 1990 WBC (Yugoslavia only lost 3 games in those 2 tournaments and won gold on both), lost to the US by 1 in the 1986 WBC (David Robinson was the center), beat the US in their first encounter at the 1990 WBC then wasted an 8 point lead with l:30 minutes left to lose the Bronze Medal game against the US (Alonzo Mourning was the center);

    Other than that was fat and nonathletic.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I saw Rivas play a lot- his game didn't translate into NBA success. Too slow, too unskilled, sort of like Fesenko on Utah today.

    Thanks for the update on what he's up to, I enjoy these WTHHT articles.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Well i was actually coach by the guy. One of the best coach I've met in my life. We've even won championships and were the best in the league and our division. So all the negaive commits by anybody could suck my ****. -Tee

  12. Anonymous says:

    To honor him for being one of the first puerto rican to play in the NBA, Carlos Arroyo is using his number 45.

  13. JR says:

    That's very cool most recent anonymous. Do you happen to have a link to an article on that?

  14. Bohemian says:

    I just read about it in the forums:


  15. Ramon RivASS says:

    Nice unibrow, prick!

  16. JR says:

    I wonder if the above comment was left by Tony Massenburg. Why such hate?

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