Before Cedric Maxwell endeared himself to a new generation of Celtics fans as a broadcaster, he was an integral part of hanging two championship banners in the Garden rafters during his eight-year stint as a player.
Not only did Maxwell lead the C's with 24 points in a Game 7 victory over the Lakers in 1984, he also won NBA Finals MVP in 1981 when the C's upended the Rockets in six games.
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On a recent taping for a Classic Celtics broadcast on NBC Sports Boston (click here for the full schedule of games), Maxwell talked to Brian Scalabrine about how exciting it was in the locker room celebration when he found out he was Finals MVP.
"We were all in there celebrating, talking back and forth, and Rick Barry was going to different people talking. And finally he got to me and said 'Cedric Maxwell, Sporting News MVP!' I was like 'Oh, wow' and then all my teammates came over and started throwing champagne and all that, and it's great."
Maxwell averaged almost 18 points and 10 rebounds per game in the series, but he won Finals MVP thanks to his amazing performance in Games 3 through 6, when he put up 22.5 points (on 64.8 percent shooting) and 11.0 rebounds per game. But the award didn't exactly come with all the perks you might expect.
A trip to Disney? Nope. A car? Not that either. So what did you get, Max?
"You know what? I got jack. They gave you a watch," Maxwell explained.
Well, at least it was an amazing watch like a Rolex, right?
"Dude, it's not a Rolex! ... Dude, I've never worn this watch!"
OK, well at least there had to be a formal presentation when the NBA presented it to Maxwell...
"I actually had to go to New York and this is what they came out with," a laughing Maxwell said as he displayed the timepiece to Scalabrine, which you can see in the video above.
I ended up showing this watch to Jayson Tatum, all those guys this year, showed them the whole box that I had. They all looked at me like, 'Dude, you got screwed!'
It turns out that the NBA started giving cars to Finals MVPs the next year, but Maxwell had a priceless reaction when laughing that prize off instead of being annoyed at the timing.
"The only thing I have to say about that — if in fact I had won a car in 1981, that car would have been in the junk yard. I still have this watch right now as a memento, so that's a great thing."