4.. May 18, 1997- The Celtics, having finished with the 2nd worst record in the league, had 2 lottery picks and the best chance to get the number one pick at 36% (since the Grizzlies were still ineligible to win the lottery in their early years). We know how it played out. The Spurs won, and picked Duncan. The Celtics had picks #3 & #6 and selected Chauncey Billups and Ron Mercer, both whom were dealt within 2 years. The Spurs would win 4 titles behind Duncan. I remember speaking to someone on that day after the lottery saying "this just set the Celtics back 10 years." I wasn't wrong. And the only reason I don't have it higher is because I'm pretty sure the Evil Emperor would've fucked something up with Duncan, and it wasn't a sure bet the Celtics would return to elite status.
Vote after the jump
3. July 27, 1993- Team captain and All-Star Reggie Lewis tragically dies while shooting baskets at Brandeis College. He was the next torch-bearer of Celtics pride. That graceful stop-on-a-dime shooter with the athleticism to bridge the gap to the next era. Reggie Lewis lead the Celtics in 1993 to 48 wins. He had McHale in his last season and Robert Parish past his prime. Free agents would've liked to play with Lewis (I'd like to think). But it never happened. And to rub salt in the wounds, he died on my 15th birthday.
2. June 17, 2010- With a 13 point 3rd quarter lead in Game 7 of the Finals, the Celtics were on the cusp of adding to their 2008 title with the "new big 3". They would mirror the 1970s Celtics, who also won two titles, and also probably would've won a third had it not been for Havlicek's injury in 1973, just like KG's injury in 2009 (#5). But the fourth quarter was called differently than the first 3 quarters, the Celtics got into the penalty early and basically lost because of a free throw shooting contest in the 4th, as the Lakers paraded to the charity stripe.
1. June 19, 1986- Just 2 days after being selected with the 2nd pick in the NBA draft, Len Bias, the next great Celtic, tragically died of a cocaine overdose. This not only hurt the Celtics who were 1 guy short in 1987, but for the next several years. A 1988 team and 1991 team with Bias may have very likely lead to more titles. This has haunted the Celtics ever since it happened, and seemed to be the date you could point to where the Celtics went from the preeminent basketball franchise who it was an honor to play for and the greatest and most winning team in history, to a cold, racist town that no basketball players want to go.
That's mine. So what's it for you? Anyone I missed? If so, explain why in comments. I only went back 25 years but if there's any older ones please do mention them.
tb727 1/07/2012 05:30:00 PM Tweet Edit