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We've already recalled the last Celtic to wear #33 before Larry Bird and the last Celtic who will wear #34 before Paul Pierce.  This week in What the Hell Happened To, we remember Jeff Judkins who played 2 seasons for the Celtics and was the last player to wear #32 before Kevin McHale.  Judkins was drafted by Boston in the second round of the 1978 draft out of the University of Utah.  His rookie season he actually averaged almost 9 points per game in 19 minutes a night while playing 81 games.  In fact based on that season, if the "Sixth Star Award" was in existence that year, there's an excellent chance Judkins would've won based on his consistent performance.  That Celtics team was pretty poor but the next year was when Larry Bird arrived.  In addition to Bird the Celtics had added Gerald Henderson and ML Carr to its squad, that resulted in less playing time for Jeff.

Late that season, in which Boston would lose to Philly in the Eastern Conference Finals, Judkins told Auerbach and Bill Fitch that he didn't care how much they paid him, but he wanted to play the rest of his career in Boston because of how much he enjoyed it.  Unfortunately after that campaign, the NBA expansion draft took place (thanks Larry O'Brien) and the Dallas Mavericks were forming.  Jeff and Pete Maravich weren't protected and since Dallas was trying to fill its roster with younger players, picked Jeff.


Judkins wouldn't ever play for Dallas though since he was becoming a free agent.  He signed on with Utah where he played for his hometown Jazz in the 1981 season, missing out on winning a championship with the Celtics by one season.  He'd play the next 2 seasons sparingly in Detroit and Portland until retiring after the 1983 campaign.

After the 1983 campaign, Jeff landed a job with Safelite Auto Glass (the same company that repaired my windshield when it was damaged) but by 1989, he accepted a job at his alma mater as an assistant to Rick Majerus.  He helped recruit Keith Van Horn, Andre Miller and Michael Doleac to Utah.  He stayed as an assistant coach there until 2000, when BYU offered Jeff the chance to become Director of Basketball Operations.  He jumped at the opportunity.

After one year in that role, he wound up accepting the head BYU women's coaching position, which is where he remains today.  In true Otis Birdsong-esque bitterness, Jeff states he prefers the women's game to the modern NBA:

Women's basektball reminds me of how NBA teams played in the 80s, because women are slower than men and can't easily take their defender off the dribble, they rely on teamwork to find ways to get easy baskets.  That's how the game of basketball should be played.  I can't stand to watch much NBA basketball or even some men's college games because it's all one-on-one stuff.  There's no passing, no cutting off picks, no setting screens.  It's just not my kind of basketball.  It's boring, plain and simple.

While Jeff makes some valid points, perhaps he hasn't watched the Celtics over the past 4 seasons.  Or the Jazz basically, forever.  While yes, there are instances where going one-on-one might help, it still seems to me that the most successful NBA teams are the ones that make the extra pass and use their athleticism to play the game at the highest level, the way it should be played.

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

tb727 2/21/2011 07:31:00 AM Edit
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6 Responses so far.

  1. Three Toe says:

    hahaha I love the quote at the end! Bunch of jerks with their athleticism and their speed. I like coaching a tema knowing that I could sub myself in and still plus-minus a negative 3, maybe.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I really like those "What happened..." posts!

    But come on man! There is no way that this guy would have won the 6th man of the year award!!! The Celtics were the second worst team in the NBA. Basketball-Reference doesn't keep track on games started in the 78/79 season, but if you just look at the two best teams from the regular season (Washington and Seattle), there are at least seven players on each team with better stats than Jeff Judkins. Or look at the Denver Nuggets (solid play-off team), there are six players with better stats than Jeff Judkins from the 29-53 Celtics. I haven't looked up every team, but I'm sure there are several other candidates on play-offs teams.

    So I repeat, there is no f...... way that Jeff Judkins would have won the 6th man of the year award in the 78/79 season!!!

  3. tb727 says:

    Lol of course not 6th man of the year- I said "Sixth Star Award"- Celtics fans are familiar with that award as it's given out to the most deserving 6th man of the year ON THE CELTICS.

    http://www.telegram.com/article/20100417/SPORTSJUSTHAPPENED/100419734/1009/SPORTS

    Previous winners included Erick Strickland and David Wesley. Not 6th man of the year for the league obviously. Just for the Celtics

  4. Jenda says:

    They don't jump, they don't run...
    Yeah, women's basketball is SO much fun.

    A little poem for ya, Jeff.lol

  5. Anonymous says:

    @tb727 : Okay. I've never heard of that "Sixth Star Award". Sorry.

    Keep up the good work!!!

  6. tb727 says:

    No worries at all anonymous, thanks.

    Lol Jenda.

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