McHale, Embry, Thompson Agitator; Brown, Project Mor

On this day in Boston Celtics history, franchise legends Kevin McHale, Wayne Embry, and John Thompson were inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts. McHale was drafted by the Celtics of the University of Minnesota with the third overall pick for the 1980 NBA Draft.

This pick-up deal, which Boston acquired with big-man Robert Parrish in exchange for an overall better pick for that draft, was widely considered one of the most lopsided deals in league history. McHale will have an immediate impact on the youthful core that is being built around the front phenomenon Larry Bird.

Along with Parrish, forward Cedric Maxwell, base guard Dennis Johnson and shooter Danny Aing, the Celtics would form a dynasty that would win three championships in the 1980s.

Unknown date Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; file image; Boston Celtics striker (32) Kevin McHale in a game against the Indiana Pacers at Market Square Arena. Photo by USA TODAY Sports

McHale will also be elected to seven All-Star and six All-Defensive teams, an All-NBA First Team, and a two-time Sixth Man of the Year, among many other titles.

He averaged 17.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and many blocks in every game of his career, all playing for the Celtics.

Dave Debusshere (22) of the Detroit Pistons lose control of the rebound when Sam Jones (24) and Wayne Embry both of the Boston Celtics come in for the ball in the ASN National Basketball Association. A playoff game at Boston Garden, Sunday, March 31, 1968, Boston, MA, is seen by Jimmy Walker (24) of the Pistons. (AP Photo)

Wayne Embry had already had a long career as a permanent thorn on the Celtics side with the Cincinnati Royals (now the Sacramento Kings) before Celtics center famous Bill Russell spoke about Embry from retiring one last time with Boston.

The Ohio native agreed and got a ring due to his troubles with the Celtics in 1968 to compete in his five-star matches. He scored 5.8 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per game over his two seasons with Boston.

John Thompson

Malcolm Emmons USA Today Sports

While he was away from the Celtics’ life, big man John Thompson made a lot of noise as a player in only two short seasons with Boston.

After being drafted out of Providence College by franchises in 1964, he went on to win two championships with the Celtics, in 1965 and 1966.

John Thompson (left): Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum

Drafted by the Chicago Bulls in the 1966 NBA Expansion Project, Thompson instead opted to retire to become a coach, where he achieved huge success — enough that he entered the hall on that record.

He averaged 3.5 points and multiple boards with Boston over the course of two seasons.

Fred Roberts (31): Sports Illustrated / file

It’s also the anniversary of big man Fred Roberts who was taken over by the Miami Heat for the 1988 NBA Expansion Project. Roberts was held to fill the rosters of new Heat and Charlotte Hornets franchises, and he was the only Celtics player selected by either team.

Roberts came to the team in 1986 by trade from the Utah Jazz (for selection who became Billy Donovan, oddly enough), and played two seasons with the Bostonians, scoring 5.8 points, 2.4 rebounds, and a assist per contest over that stretch.

Marshawn Brooks #12 of the Boston Celtics poses for a photo during media day at Boston Athletic Club in Waltham, Massachusetts on September 30, 2013. Brian Babineau / NBAE via Getty Images

The 2011 NBA Draft was also held on this date, with the Celtics taking players of note. The first involved drafting and then trade guard Marshawn Brooks for forward JaJuan Johnson to the (then) New Jersey (now, Brooklyn) Nets, an Indiana native produced from Purdue.

Johnson would play one season for the Celtics, scoring 3.2 points and 1.6 plates per game before being dealt with Etwan Moore and Shawn Williams in a three-team deal that sealed Boston winger Courtney Lee of the Houston Rockets.

Boston Celtics strongman Kevin Garnett (5) talks with goalkeeper Eaton Moore (55) during the second half against the Orlando Magic at Amway Center. The Boston Celtics defeated the Orlando Magic 91-83. Kim Clement USA Today Sports

Speaking of Moore, the Celtics drafted the East Chicago native with the 55th overall pick for the 2011 draft, and also played for Boston that close singles season.

Moore averaged 2.9 points and 0.9 board and assisted in every game that season

Jaylen Brown and Guerschon Yabusele speak at a press conference after being drafted by the Boston Celtics during the 2016 NBA Draft on June 24, 2016, at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

The 2016 NBA draft was held on the same date, with the Celtics taking four players of note.

The first was winger Jaylen Brown, captured with a No. 3 pick from Cal-Berkeley. The Georgia native made a great start to his career at the Celtics, earning All-Rookie and All-Star nods in his first five seasons in the league while helping propel Boston to the NBA Finals in 2022.

Guerschon Yabusele (30): Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Boston forward Guerschon Yabusele also took 16th overall as a draft and stash candidate. Yabu, as he is sometimes called, did not work for the Celtics but was a fan favorite.

His other nickname, “Dancing Bear,” referred to this big player’s agility, and he scored 2.3 points, and averaged 1.4 rebounds with Boston over two seasons.

Jerry Lay – USA Today Sports

Ante Žižić of Croatia was named 23rd choice overall but never played for the team.

He will be taken to the Cleveland Cavaliers as part of the package that will bring Kyrie Irving to Boston, along with point guard Isaiah Thomas and forward Jae Crowder.

Ben Bentel (50): Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Former Providence monk Ben Bentel finished 51st overall, but he also didn’t play for the Celtics.

He would be ceded by the team before the season started, and has since moved to other leagues.

Abdel Nader (28): Carrie Edmondson – America Today Sports

Abdul Nader, the 58th overall draft pick from Iowa, has been a rare success story of late.

He played one season with the Celtics, averaging 3 points and 1.5 rebounds per game with the team before being distributed to the Oklahoma City Thunder for goalkeeper Rodney Purvis.

INDIANAPOLIS – NOVEMBER 11: Mike James of the Boston Celtics #13 dribbles against the Indiana Pacers during the game at Conseco Fieldhouse on November 11, 2003, in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Celtics won 78-76. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Today is the birthday of goalkeeper Mike James, a Duquesne producer who came to the Celtics as a free agent after two seasons with the Heat.

A native of New York, James played 55 games for Boston in the 2003-04 season, averaging 10.7 points, 3.2 plates, and 4.4 assists per game for the team before being distributed to the Detroit Pistons in the 2004 season.

BOSTON, MA – 1994: Bill Cartwright #00 of the Chicago Bulls stepped up for a shot against Ace Earl #55 of the Boston Celtics during a game played circa 1994 at Boston Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. (Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images)

It’s also Acie Earl’s birthday, as the Peoria, Illinois native came into the world in 1970 on this date. Boston’s 19th selection for the 1993 NBA Draft, Earl played college ball with Iowa State.

He played 104 games over two seasons with the Celtics, putting in 4.6 points and 2.8 rebounds per game before the Toronto Raptors moved on in the 1995 expansion draft.

Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III (44) and coach Amy Odoka during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Friday, December 10, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Finally, it’s also the date the Celtics named their current head coach Aim Odoka in 2021. He was a former assistant to the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia Sixers, and San Antonio Spurs, where he played and coached under legendary Greg Popovich.

Odoka earned fourth place in the vote for Coach of the Year for the 2021-22 season in his first campaign at the helm of the Celtics, helping propel the team to second place and the 51-31 season.

Udoka would take Boston to brink 18 in the post-season, losing the Finals to the Golden State Warriors in 6 games – a rare level of success for a first-year head coach.

This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook!

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