Wednesday, February 1 2023

On this day in Boston Celtics history, shooting guard and small forward Aleksandar “Sasha” Pavlovic was born in what was then Yugoslavia. Taken by the Utah Jazz with the 19th pick of the 2003 NBA draft, Pavlovic had previously played professionally in Europe for Budućnost Podgorica of the Yugoslavian (and later Serbian and Montenegrin) YUBA league.

The Montenegrin swingman played one season with the Jazz before being selected by the Charlotte Hornets in the 2004 NBA expansion draft held in part to populate that re-created franchise. The revived Hornets in turn dealt him to the Cleveland Cavaliers, where Pavlovic played five seasons.

From there he was traded with Ben Wallace to the Phoenix Suns for Shaquille O’Neal.

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Released by the Suns, the Bar native would sign for a season with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

He would play short stints with the New Orleans Pelicans and Dallas Mavericks before joining the Celtics as a free agent in 2011 and played in 62 games for the team over two seasons before being traded yet again.

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

This time, the Celtics sent Pavlovic to the Portland Trail Blazers as part of the three-team deal that netted Boston wing Courtney Lee.

The Montenegrin wing averaged 2.4 points and 1.4 rebounds per game while with the team.

(Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images)

It is also the birthday of former Celtic center Marc Acres, who was born today in 1962 in Inglewood, California.

Picked 40th overall by the Dallas Mavericks in the 1985 NBA draft, Acres would not make the team, instead playing two seasons overseas before joining the Celtics as a free agent in 1987.

Acres played two seasons with Boston between that year and 1989, logging 3 points and as many rebounds per game.

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Acres and Pavlovic share their birthday with former Celtics owner Robert Schmertz, who was born on this day in 1926.

A real estate developer who had previously been part-owner of the Portland Trail Blazers from 1970 to 1972, Schmertz was part-owner of the Celtics from 1972 until 1975.

(AP Photo/Tom Strattman)

Power forward Larry Sykes made his debut for the team on this date in 1995, in a 102-90 loss to the Utah Jazz at the old Boston Garden.

The Xavier product pulled down 2 boards in as many minutes of play in a modest inaugural performance for the Celtics.

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

It was on this date in 1991 that Celtics guard Stan Noszka left us as well.

The Pennsylvanian had played 52 games for Boston across two seasons between 1947 and 1949 in the team’s Basketball Association of America years (BAA — a precursor league to the NBA), averaging 2.9 points per game with the team.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, it is also the date that the team’s first-ever coach, John “Honey” Russell, passed away in 1973.

Present on the sidelines for the Celtics first game as a franchise in 1946 until the end of their second season in 1948, he would assemble a 42 – 66 record as Boston’s coach, and would later be elected to the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame as a coach.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire

Source: Yahoo Sports


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