Today in Celtics history: M.L. Carr born

On today, January 9th, 1951, future Boston Celtics player and coach Michael Leon "M.L." Carr was born.

M.L., who is one of several former Celtics players to also coach the team (along with Tommy Heinsohn, Satch Sanders, Dave Cowens, Chris Ford, K.C. Jones, and Bill Russell), got his start in pro ball in the American Basketball Association, playing with the Spirits of St. Louis before leaving the league to play for the NBA's Detroit Pistons.

He joined the Celtics in 1979 as a free agent after winning All-Defense Second Team honors with Detroit, helping catapult a floundering Celtics squad back into contention that had plummeted to the bottom of the standings the season before. M.L. was known as much for his tenacious defense as his towel waving and aggression towards hecklers and opposing teams alike.

Per Los Angeles Times' Sam McManis:

"People see me as arrogant and cocky, and I don't really have any qualms with that ... They're probably right. I accept that image as part of the love-hate thing that is part of the Celtics. A lot of people see me as the embodiment of the Celtics because I'm into Celtic pride and Celtic mystique. I go along with it because I'd rather they yell at me on the bench than someone on the court."

Carr would return to Boston as coach in 1994 after his six seasons and two championships with the Celtics as a player, though the coaching era was far less memorable. M.L. had the dubious honor of leading the team to its worst record in history on the second and last year of his tenure as head coach. He was replaced by Rick Pitino in 1997. In the spirit of remembering Carr's best years with the club, here's a video of one of his best chasedown blocks.

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