The Celtics’ final No. 1 collect in draft, in 1950, didn’t go so well

The final time a Boston Celtics hold a initial collect in a NBA Draft, they blew it. Big time. Only predestine and some artistic wheeling and traffic saved Red Auerbach’s initial breeze in Boston and started a substructure of a dynasty.

Thanks to a Nets, a Celtics will be picking initial on Jun 22 in Brooklyn. You have to go behind 67 years, 17 championship banners and a integrate of Big Threes ago, to 1950, to find a one and usually other time a Celtics hold a initial altogether pick. Two Celtics Hall of Famers and a pioneering African-American actor went in that draft, a initial given a NBA had altered a name from a Basketball Association of America.

But nothing of those important 3 went first. The respect of being a initial actor taken went to a actor named Chuck Share.

Auerbach, in his initial deteriorate using a Celtics, pennyless hearts opposite New England by drafting Share, a 6-11 core out of Bowling Green, instead of Holy Cross’ Bob Cousy. To supplement insult to heartache, an irritated Auerbach explained his impugn of a All-American ensure this way: “We need a large man. Little group are a dime a dozen. I’m ostensible to win, not go after internal yokels.”

Knicks’ problem isn’t eighth pick, it’s a Celtics and Sixers

The Celtics perceived their tip altogether collect in this year's NBA breeze from a Nets.

The Celtics perceived their tip altogether collect in this year’s NBA breeze from a Nets.

(Frank Franklin II/AP)

The hick finished adult going third to a Tri-Cities Blackhawks, though Cooz had no intentions of relocating to Iowa and refused to report. He was traded to a Chicago Stags, who folded a month before a deteriorate started. The names of a Chicago players went into a shawl for a dispersion draft. The Knicks had a initial collect and wanted no partial of Cousy. They drew a actor they wanted in St. John’s product Max Zaslofsky. The Celtics, picking third, pulled a destiny Houdini of a Hardwood out of a hat, most to Auerbach’s chagrin.

Zaslofsky, an All-NBA collect in all 4 of his Stags seasons, lasted 3 seasons with a Knicks, assisting them to dual NBA Finals. Cousy, a Queens product, finished adult harassing his hometown group for a subsequent 13 seasons, winning 6 NBA titles and apropos a 13-time All-Star. “We got stranded with a biggest actor in a joining when we drew his name out of a hat,” Auerbach said.

Cousy wasn’t a usually fable Auerbach overlooked: The Celtics also upheld on Bill Sharman. The USC sharpshooter eventually went to Washington in a second round. Sharman was averaging a team-high 12.2 points per diversion when a Capitols folded after 35 games. The Fort Wayne Pistons got his rights though Sharman motionless to skip a rest of a deteriorate to play baseball, where he was a awaiting in a Dodgers’ classification and was in a Brooklyn cave for The Shot Heard Round a World. The Pistons motionless to cut ties with Sharman. Enter that 1950 initial altogether pick, Chuck Share.

Bob Cousy (left) with Celtics manager Red Auerbach.

Bob Cousy (left) with Celtics manager Red Auerbach.


Share had snubbed a Celtics, opting to pointer with a opposition pro league, that had folded. The Pistons and Celtics finished adult swapping their dual problem players. Share went on to a workable NBA career, personification 9 seasons and winning a pretension with a Hawks in 1958. Sharman won 4 titles and done 8 All-Star teams in 10 Celtics seasons en track to a Hall of Fame, afterwards went on to turn a Hall of Fame coach.

Celtics acquire No. 1 collect during NBA Draft lottery

While a Celtics primarily forsaken a turn on Cousy and Sharman, they did make story in that fatal 1950 breeze in a second turn by holding Duquesne’s Chuck Cooper, a initial African-American actor drafted into a NBA. That fall, Cooper, a Knicks’ Sweetwater Clifton and Washington’s Earl Lloyd became a NBA’s initial African-American players. Cooper played 6 seasons with a Celtics, Hawks and Pistons before a behind damage postulated in a automobile pile-up cut his career short.

Teams going out of business … players floating teams off — a lot had to occur for Auerbach to eventually get his men. A few years later, Bill Russell and another Holy Cross product, Tommy Heinsohn, arrived in Boston to finish a dynasty and bury a memory of a botched 1950 draft.

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Posted by on May 17 2017. Filed under Basketball. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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