#5: Shoutout to all the Celtics fans Bleeding Green in GERMANY! 🇩🇪
Hey Celtics fans in Germany! celticslife.com has had 1,731,320 visits from Germany since we originated in September 2009, which has you at #5 on our most visited list. Thanks so much for all the love you've shown the site these past 10+ years.
So I'm making a big assumption here, but I'm guessing that a lot of NBA fans in Germany love the Dallas Mavericks more than any other team. Not only because of Dirk Nowitski, but due to the fact that one of the first international players to find success in the NBA was Germany's own Detlef Schrempf.
Obviously by Germany's landing at #5 on our list countries with the most Celtics Life visits, the Celtics are pretty loved over there too. And I'm sure most of you know that Dirk was almost a Celtic. What some of you might not know is that Detlef was almost a Celtic as well!
The Celtics and Mavericks engaged in some preliminary talk about Kevin McHale. Reportedly, Dallas offered Sam Perkins, Detlef Schrempf and two first round picks for McHale and Dennis Johnson. Both teams say the discussions merely reached the early stages before being cut off by Red Auerbach. But Dallas sources say they were encouraged because they`d asked about McHale many times before and this was the first time Boston had not immediately said no.
Almost a Celtic
This was in 1989. Larry Bird was out for the season injured and Johnson only had one more year left in the NBA. McHale was still really good, but already 32 and Schrempf was only 25. The Celtics had gone from Champions in '86 to losing in the Finals in '87, top losing in the Eastern Conference Finals in '88 to now being another year older and their superstar Larry Legend being hurt.
You could have understood if they made the trade. Like I mentioned D.J. was soon to retire so it was more or less Schrempf, a 27 year pretty solid starting big in Sam Perkins (who would go on to play another twelve seasons) and two first rounders for a past his prime McHale.
Also almost a Celtic
Don't blame the Celtics for being loyal to McHale and D.J., but also wouldn't have blamed them for making the trade. In the end they went ahead and traded Danny Ainge instead. A Celtics team of youth like Reggie Lewis, Detlef, Perkins, Brian Shaw, and Kevin Gamble mixed with vets like Bird, Robert Parish and Ainge would have been an interesting group. Depth was an issue for the Celtics starting in 1987 and this would have a very solid 8 man rotation. Maybe draft Shawn Kemp that coming June and then boom, instant rebuild.
If Detlef had become a Celtic, I'm sure even more Germans would be Celtics fans now. And probably exponentially more if the Celtics had been able to keep their lust for Dirk Nowitski a secret.
I hesitate to use the word "found," but Celtics General Manager Chris Wallace was the one who discovered Dirk in Europe and instead that team president and coach Rick Pitino check him out.
Rick Pitino after working out Dirk privately and thinking he was going to draft the next Larry Bird:
“I was shaking after the workout. He was supposed to stay in the military another year publicly, and we were gonna draft him with the Boston Celtics at 10."
The Celtics ended up drafting their own Hall of Famer in Paul Pierce after the Mavs found out about Dirk and traded up to draft him, so Boston didn't come out of the draft empty handed for sure. But a what-if scenario for sure.
Fast forward nineteen more years to the summer of 2017 and the Celtics signed their first German born player Daniel Theis. Never really heard of him before, but I remember checking out some footage when the report came out and thinking, "A big man, who's still young, looks pretty athletic, can block shots, and shoot from outside? Yes please." Sometimes I'm wrong about these things (See R.J. Hunter two years prior), but in the case of Theis he's been as good or if not better than advertised.
Also one more tidbit. One of our most viewed posts ever was from a blog post titled: "Today's Video: Rondo visits injured troops in Germany" from way back in October 2009. So only a month after the site was created. It has over 400,000 page views with almost all of them being within a two year period from 2013 to 2015. Not sure how that happened, but pretty freaking awesome. So I guess that video should get a good deal of credit for Germany cracking the top 5!
Not sure about Celtics players from back in the day that were American, but of German descent. If you know of any, please feel free to share them in the comments section!
Also, leave a comment and tell us a little bit about yourself if you wish. How you became a Celtics fan? Where in Germany you're representing? How you found out about celticslife.com and when you first started frequenting the site? Maybe a pic of you in some Celtics gear. You know, all that good stuff.
Shoutout to all the Celtics fans Bleeding Green in Germany!
We hit a milestone when we passed the 100 million views mark last season. But the thing is only 64% of our page views come from United States viewers. We are giving shoutouts to the top 20 countries represented on Celtics Life based on analytics. Check in for the next twenty days to see where your country lands in the top 20. And if you are from that country or connected in anyway, please drop a comment with your story. Would love to see faces and words from all these Celtics Lifers that have visited the blog all these years.