#6: Shoutout to all the Celtics fans Bleeding Green in FRANCE! 🇫🇷
Hey Celtics fans in France! celticslife.com has had 1,715,749 visits from France since we originated in September 2009, which has you at #6 on our most visited list. Thanks so much for all the love you've shown the site these past 10+ years.
The Boston Celtics initial Frenchman was the athletic Jérôme Moïso who was selected at #11 in the first round of the 2000 NBA Draft. Moïso would only play 24 games as a rookie and was then traded to Philly for a future 1st rounder. That 1st rounder would then be traded with an additional first rounder to Memphis for their two first rounders Marcus Banks and Kendrick Perkins. So Moïso either led to Banks which wouldn't be so great or Perkins, which would. You make the call!
Next up was Michael "Yogi" Stewart who has dual French and U.S.citizenship. His father was playing in France when he was born. Yogi was able to earn a nice contract from the Raptors after averaging 2.4 blocks a game as a Kings rookie in the 1997-98 season. Stewart also only had a cup of coffee in Boston, and to be honest he was only contract filler coming from the Cavs along with Ricky Davis and Chris Mihm in one of Danny Ainge's first Celtics trades. Ainge traded away Eric Williams and Tony Battie, which put the final nail in the occasionally exciting Jimmy O'Brien era.
Next up was a player I was stoked to see the Celtics sign on Christmas Eve, 2011. Mickaël "Air France" Piétrus would be a key role player for the overachieving 2011-12 Celtics that made it all the way to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. If I recall correctly, Piétrus missed quite a few games due to a very nasty concussion. After the season, Piétrus will call the Celtics the best team he'd ever played for which was nice to hear considering he played for the Magic in 2009 when they made the Finals, so there was some competition. Similar to Moïso and Yogi, Piétrus wouldn't play another season for the Celtics.
Four years later the Celtics drafted another Frenchman in the 1st round. Guerschon Yabusele was selected at #16, but the "Dancing Bear" never could stick in the Celtics rotation and was waived last July. So the Celtics had a Yogi and a Yabu.
So while neither of the Celtics two French first round picks were successful, drafting a French player wasn't a mistake. The mistake was drafting the wrong players. Or passing on them more to the point. The Celtics were linked to Tony Parker in the 2001 draft. They were expected to draft him. Basically the pick was all set to be made when the the Celtics reversed course and selected Joe Forte instead because the great Celtics legend, but soon to be 84 years old Red Auerbach requested it.
What could have been?
You see when Rick Pitino took over the Celtics in 1997, being the egomaniac he is he stripped Red of his presidency title (even though Red hadn't made a move in years. He held the title out of respect). When Pitino left and Chris Wallace became the #1 guy he did the right thing and gave Red his title back. BUT he wasn't supposed to actually let Red make a pick. Red had retired as GM way back in 1984. while I'm sure Red was still active in some moves in the later 1980's, by 2001 he had been away from any kind of personnel moves for over a decade.
I don't blame Red for the Forte pick. I blame Chris Wallace for giving the grandparent who stopped driving years ago the car keys on that pick. Pitino being a jerk who needed the title of "president" was bad. Wallace passing on Tony Parker was worse. Imagine Parker with Paul Pierce, Antoine Walker, Joe Johnson, Eric Williams and Tony Battie?
Anyway the Celtics this season as you all know added another French big man in Vincent Poirier. The 26 year old rookie center hasn't done much yet, but you never know when things might change. He has only played in 21 games so far, averaging just 5.4 mpg. Poirier aka Vinnie Sex Daddy, did give us all a nice laugh with this tweet I believe the day after the league got suspended in March:
So if nothing else we will always have that. Between Piétrus, Yabu and Vinnie Sex Daddy we've gotten quite a few laughs from the French players on the Celtics. if you're not going to be a star, sometimes being a teammate who can lighten the mood is still an important role.
Not sure about Celtics players from way back in the day that were American, but of French 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 France 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 France!
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.