In 1998, in a ceremony at the halftime of a home game against the Indiana Pacers, Robert "Chief" Parish had his jersey raised to the rafters of the FleetCenter. The game was a homecoming of sorts, as it saw the return of Larry Bird as head coach of the Indiana Pacers, and Kevin McHale - then vice president of the Minnesota Timberwolves - was also in attendance. McHale (per the Baltimore Sun's Jerry Bembry) had the following to say about the event:
"It was a great moment, great to see Robert's number retired and great to see Larry here coaching ... We spent a lot of time on that court together. Those days are all in the past now. All we can do now is sit back and watch everybody else play."
Bird downplayed his return, instead emphasizing the ceremony, and Red Auerbach helped Parish raise the jersey to the rafters. Said Chief of the experience (again, per Bembry):
"As Red and I were raising the flag, I was flattered for the acknowledgment, that the Celtics thought enough of Robert Parish to retire his number ... It ranks right up there with winning a championship, being selected as one of the 50 greatest athletes in the NBA. It's definitely a highlight in my career."
Today is also the birthday of former Celtics big man Thomas Harold "Junior" Burrough.
Born on this day in 1973, Burrough played at the University of Virginia between 1991 and 1995, and was selected with the 33rd pick of the 1995 NBA Draft by the Celtics. He averaged 3.1 points and 1.8 boards per game over the 1995 - 96 season before choosing to play overseas in Europe that summer. He had a long career playing for many European teams before retiring in 2009. If you'd like to read more about Junior, check out this excellent article by our own tb727.
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Photo via Dick Raphael/NBAE
Follow Justin at @justinquinnn Justin Quinn 1/18/2017 06:00:00 AM Tweet Edit