Today in Celtics history: the Silas trade, Cs become 1st team to 61 wins

Today, March 14th is the 45th anniversary of the trade which brought former Boston Celtics big man Paul Silas to Beantown.

The trade caught Silas by surprise, and came about to resolve the fact that while the Phoenix Suns owned player Charlie Scott's ABA draft rights, Boston owned Scott's NBA draft rights. Red Auerbach demanded Silas in exchange for letting Scott join the Suns, and arranged a trade for the two players and cash, bringing Paul to Boston - much to his chagrin at the time, having just bought a home in Phoenix. Aware of the mystique surrounding the wildly successful Celtics organization, he was skeptical of it, thinking it was overblown:

"To be truthful, I thought it was a lot of nonsense. But when I arrived it was amazing. It’s almost like a collegiate atmosphere in a pro world, an atmosphere of total sacrifice for the good of the team, on and off the court. It’s a way of life. You just fall into it"

Fall into Paul did, winning the first two of his three championships with the team before moving on to stints with the Denver Nuggets and Seattle Supersonics, and a later coaching career that would last until 2012. For a deeper dive into Paul's time in Boston, check out our own tbt727's long-form article here.

Today is also the 52nd anniversary of the Celtics becoming the first team in league history to get to 61 wins. The achievement, accomplished by the 1964-65 season squad of Tommy Heinsohn, John Havlicek, Tom Sanders, Willie Naulls, Bill Russell, Sam and KC Jones (no relation), would be capped off by winning the 1965 NBA World Championship against the Los Angeles Lakers, and came in a 106-98 win against the San Francisco Warriors at home.

For more stories about Celtics history on Celticslife, click here. For more by Justin, click here.

Photo via Dick Raphael/NBAE Getty Images
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