Today, January 1, marks the anniversary of the culmination of one of the weirder sagas in Boston Celtics history, and a fitting topic to revisit for the first day of the new year. In 1979, new Celtics Owner John Y. Brown attended his first game as team owner. That in and of itself is nothing especially remarkable, but Brown - former owner of the team which became the Los Angeles Clippers - had just recently finalized the only “trade” of a franchise in league (and possibly all) history.
@LAClippers Unless we consider Clippers to be the legal continuation of Celtics after the John Y Brown-Irv Levin dealhttp://t.co/AYKid7Xr— Erik (@erik_griswold) December 22, 2012
In other words, from a strictly legal perspective, the Celtics are actually the Clippers.
Of course, records, roster, and the like remained with each respective club after then-league lawyer and future commissioner David Stern struck a compromise for former Celtics owner Irv Levin, who wanted to move the team to southern California, which the league would not allow. Stern, then an up-and-coming figure in the league, successfully negotiated a deal where Buffalo Braves Owner Brown would simply “trade” franchise rights, allowing Levin to move the Braves to Los Angeles, where they became today’s Clippers.
In a strictly legal sense, the franchise that belonged to the Celts was the one that is now in La-La land, but we all know where the banners are hung, so...weird, right? Turns out those jokes about Doc recreating the Celtics in Los Angeles might be truer than anyone thought.
(To read more about this odd chapter of Celtics history, click here.)
Today is also Glen “Big Baby” Davis’ birthday. Drafted by the Seattle Supersonics - though he never played for the team; Davis’ draft rights were part of the package that brought Ray Allen (...and Kevin Garnett and Banner 17) to the club. Big Baby played a noteworthy role for that year’s team, unusual for any rookie, never mind one drafted (#35) in the second round. Glen continued to be an important rotation player for years, until he was traded as part of the package that brought Brandon Bass to the Celtics.
Davis' recent appearance on Kevin Garnett's "Area 21" segment is a good way to tie up these two threads this January 1st, so enjoy some Celtics and Clippers - or is that Clippers and Celtics? - nostalgia while you nurse that, uh...headache.
For more stories on Celtics history, click here. For more by Justin, click here.
Photo via bostonlocaltv.org
Follow Justin at @justinquinnn Justin Quinn 1/01/2017 12:38:00 PM Tweet Edit