Five memorable Celtics second acts
Five memorable Celtics second acts
BOSTON -- Gerald Green made quite a splash with the Boston Celtics, and the NBA, as a high-flying, above-the-rim finisher who went on to become a slam-dunk champion.
After bouncing around with pro teams internationally and in the NBA, the former first-round pick of the Celtics returns to where his NBA career began.
He becomes the latest player whose career brings them through Boston for a second tour of duty, a grouping that includes at least one All-Star and quite a few all-duds.
Here’s a list of the five most memorable former Celtics who returned to the club for a second stint.
Like most players on this list, Moore was all over the map -- both stateside and abroad -- when it comes to his playing career. In 13 NBA seasons, Moore suited up for nine different teams which included spending parts of the 2003 and 2009 seasons in Boston. His first stint was a short one, as he played in just three games. But 2009 saw the 7-foot Moore actually play in 24 games while averaging 19.0 minutes per game. His presence added depth to a Celtics roster that was trying to cope with not having Kevin Garnett, who suffered a season-ending knee injury that prevented him from playing in the postseason. Boston, the defending champs that year, was eliminated in the conference semifinals by Orlando.
After starring at nearby Providence College for two years, the Celtics drafted Williams with the 14th overall selection in the 1995 NBA draft. He was off to a solid start with the Celtics, averaging double figures scoring in each of his first two seasons. But he was soon shipped out to Denver in exchange for a pair of future second round picks, a Rick Pitino trade that was a head-scratcher at the time and now 20-plus years later, it makes even less sense. Williams was injury-riddled during his time in Denver, a major factor in them trading him back to Boston two years later. Williams’ second stint with Boston was longer (1999-2003), but his role with the team in terms of scoring had significantly decreased courtesy of this kid named Paul Pierce. A double-digit scorer in his first two seasons with the Celtics, Williams never averaged more than 9.1 points in his second go-around with Boston.
The 6-foot-5 shooting guard had an NBA career that literally began and ended with the Boston Celtics. He spent his first seven seasons (1968-1975) in the NBA with the Green Team, averaging a career-high 13.1 points in 1973. His first stint also included an NBA title as a rookie. And his final three seasons (1978-1980) were on the Celtics roster as well. While most think of Chaney from his days as the head coach of the Houston Rockets, he has another distinction that -- around these parts at least -- is even more impressive: He’s the only NBA player to have been a teammate of both Bill Russell and Larry Bird.
A fan favorite of many (myself included), West’s first three NBA seasons were with the Celtics. And they were seasons in which he clearly became a better player, which was evident by his scoring average increasing each of his first three seasons. If you’re going to trade him, it has to be for a really special player.
Yeah. He qualifies.
West was part of a package for Allen that also included the No. 5 pick in the 2007 draft (Jeff Green), Wally Szczerbiak and a 2008 second round pick (Trent Plaisted).
After stints with Seattle and Cleveland, West returned to the Celtics franchise in 2010. Injuries limited him to just 24 games with Boston in which he averaged 5.6 points, 2.7 assists and as usual, played physical, grind-it-out defense.
Of all the prodigal sons who return to the Celtics family, no one stands out like the human wiggler himself, Antoine Walker.
During his first seven seasons with Boston, Walker was a three-time All-Star and clearly stood out as one of the game’s better players.
Before the start of the 2003-2004 season, he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks. And a year after the Mavs had him, they sent him via trade to Atlanta.
And here’s where Walker’s return tops all the rest.
Statistically speaking he just wasn’t the same player anymore. During his second tour of duty with the Celtics in 2004, Walker averaged 16.3 points per game -- the lowest he had ever averaged while playing for the Celtics.
However, what’s often overlooked in Boston re-acquiring Walker was how that trade also included the Celtics sending Atlanta a first round pick that the Hawks would eventually send to Phoenix.
It then became a 2006 first-round pick that the Celtics acquired on draft night, a pick that was used to select Rajon Rondo.
That might have been ‘Toine’s best assist as a Celtic.