BOSTON (CBS) – Generally, rebuilding teams don’t have many All-Stars. That’s the case for the Boston Celtics this weekend, as there will be no members of the roster taking part in All-Star Game festivities Sunday night in New Orleans. Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk took part in the Rising Stars Challenge Friday night, but that game is hardly an event most fans would want to circle on their calendar.
With little of note taking place this weekend for Celtics diehards, I decided it might be fun to take a walk down memory lane and re-live some of the best moments of past All-Star Weekends for Celtics. Thus, I posed the question:
What are the top 5 all-time moments for Celtics participating in All-Star Weekend?
I went through the archives of the events at NBA.com as well as clips on YouTube of the All-Star Weekend festivities since 1980 looking at the games and events involving Celtics players. So without further ado here’s one-man’s opinion of the Top 5 Celtic All-Star moments accompanied by video of the each one of the performances.
5) Paul Pierce Wins 2010 Three-Point Shootout
Boston’s former captain entered All-Star Weekend in 2010 battling through a plethora of foot and knee injuries last year and took down the Three Point Shootout in fairly routine fashion. A lot of us were clamoring for the guy to rest that weekend at the time, and sure enough he came into Dallas and won the whole damn thing. His transformation into a terrific bomber from outside was complete, and was a clear sign of good things to come for the remainder of that season, as Pierce helped lead the Celtics to the 2010 NBA Finals.
4) Gerald Green Wins 2007 Dunk Contest
Green winning this competition served for a long time as the highlight of Green’s career. Luckily, a strong performance in Phoenix this season has changed that.
Celtics fans may remember Green hyping up himself for the competition and campaigning for inclusion throughout the early parts of the 2006-07 season. Green came through and delivered the aerial goods upon admission with an impressive variety of dunks. The dunk of the evening was his homage to Dee Brown with the no look one-handed jam over Nate Robinson while sporting Brown’s number 7 jersey.
Green got some nice publicity for the victory and many hoped this would catapult him into being a real contributor to the Celtics. Those hopes did not last long as Green was shipped off to Minnesota in the Kevin Garnett deal in the summer of 2007.
3) Larry Bird Wins 1986 Three-Point Shootout
A guilty pleasure of mine and surely most Celtics fans is to watch old clips of Bird on YouTube. One of my favorite pieces is the NBA TV special on the Celtics legend. In it they have a tremendous bit detailing Bird’s trash talking surrounding this competition. Larry backed up his promise to deliver the goods crushing the competition in the debut of the 3-point shootout event, making 11 straight shots in his route to a score of 22 in the finals. This score stood as highest final round total in shootout history until Mark Price went for 24 in 1994. All in all, Bird made sure the introduction of this event was a success while cementing his place as one of the best shooters in the league.
2) Dee Brown Wins 1991 Dunk Contest
I was only six years old when Brown participated in a historic battle with Shawn Kemp in the finals of this contest. The rookie was almost immediately catapulted into a star by pumping up his Reeboks and taking the crown from Kemp after pulling out the no-look jam, one of the most memorable dunks in the competition’s history. That pose remained on my bedroom wall through my childhood and instantly made Brown a favorite for many Celtics fans. Unlike Green, Brown’s victory actually led to a productive 13-year career for the shooting guard, eight years of which were with the Celtics. Check out below for an impressive montage of the back and forth between Brown and Kemp throughout the contest.
1) Larry Bird Wins 1988 Three-Point Shootout
A performance that encompasses the magic and confidence Bird had as one of the greatest performers in NBA History. Going into the finals of the event Larry was clearly cocky having scored a 23 in the semifinals, to this day the 3rd highest score ever for the competition. Bird went second in the finals and only needed a score of 15 to bring home a third straight title. It was clear from the start that Bird was off his game though, bricking the majority of his balls through the first three racks leaving him with an almost insurmountable deficit to overcome. It would be foolish for me to try to describe the final 20 seconds so I will let the clip do the talking. Enjoy:
Larry Bird 1987 3 point Contest: This really should be on this list. But if it was included Larry Legend would have taken over half of the entire list, so this one got the bump. Probably the least impressive of his three shootout wins, though still memorable with a clip of him falling off the bench upon Detlef Schrempf missing the money ball that gave Bird the win in the final round of the competition
Greg Minor 1996 Dunk Contest: This doesn’t really deserve honorable mention at all. I just wanted to see if anyone remembered that Minor actually took part in this contest, or the fact that Brent Barry actually won a dunk contest. These events probably led to the event being put on hiatus for a couple of years shortly thereafter.
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