Saturday, March 25 2023

On this day in Boston Celtics history, small forward Reggie Lewis was born back in 1965. Lewis would play his college ball at local Northeastern University under famed New England coaching legend Jim Calhoun and would be picked up with the 22nd overall selection in the 1987 NBA draft by the Celtics.

The former Husky had a solid rookie season, but an injury to star forward Larry Bird opened up an opportunity for Lewis to play a larger role with the team. The Maryland native took full advantage of it, scoring 18.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.5 steals per game, and just under a block per game that season.

It would be good for an All-Star bid in 1992, his sole such honor in his too-short career.


Lewis would continue to average 19.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game for the remainder of his career, which effectively ended in a playoff game in April of 1993 after he collapsed on the court.

He would be diagnosed with a dangerous heart disorder the next day but sought a second opinion given it spelled the end of his career as a professional athlete.

The Baltimorean got his second opinion, which graded it a significant (but not potentially fatal) heart disease, and began training for the next season.

(Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

He would collapse and die of heart failure practicing at Brandeis University three months later.

Devastated by the death of one of their top young players for the second time in six years, the Celtics retired his jersey, No. 35, to memorialize him — rest in peace.

Cedric MaxwellCedric Maxwell

Cedric Maxwell

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Network.

Lewis shares that birthday with Celtics champion forward Cedric Maxwell, born this day in Kinston, North Carolina.

Maxwell attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to play his college ball and would be taken 12th overall by Boston in the 1977 NBA draft.

(AP Photo/Peter Southwick)

Maxwell quickly spread his wings with the Celtics, becoming a key part of the rotation by his second season.

With the arrival of Indiana State and future Boston legend Larry Bird in the 1979-80 season, the Celtics quickly became contenders again.

(Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Maxwell would win two titles (1981, 1984) with the “original big three” of Bird, Robert Parish, and Kevin McHale in the coming years, and a finals MVP in 1981.

The North Carolinian would be injured in the 1984-85 season and dealt to the Los Angeles Clippers that September for Hall of Fame center Bill Walton, having averaged 13.7 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and nearly a steal per game over eight seasons with Boston.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire

Source: Yahoo Sports


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