We’ve been dealing with quite a few trade rumors this weekend at the Hub, a few too many for my liking so it’s time to switch it up a bit. Regular readers of CelticsHub may remember this list from a few years back, but given the fact the Celtics only have Kevin Garnett taking part in the All-Star festivities this weekend, I figured it would be a good time to break out the memories with an updated look at the team’s history. With that in mind, the question remains.
What are the top 5 all-time moments for Celtics participating in All-Star Weekend?
Enthralled by the possibilities 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 opinion of the Top 5 Celtic All-Star moments accompanied by video of the each one of the performances.
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 clip of him falling off the bench upon Detlef Schrempf missing the moneyball 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 years shortly thereafter. That also might happen again soon after an ugly exhibition last night.
Ray Allen in 2008 NBA All Star Game: Ray gets the boot from top five, since he’s no longer on the team (amongst other reasons) but that still does diminish this effort. I have to admit I did not watch this game live. Upon further review it is clear that Allen turned in one of the most efficient performances in All Star Game History to the tune of 28 points in 18 minutes including 3 straight three pointers (shown in the youtube clip below) in the final 3:15 of the 4th quarter to lead the East to a 134-128 win.
Lebron James took home the MVP with a near triple-double for the game. However, Allen outscored James while playing 12 minutes less during the contest so in my estimation Ray still has a bone to pick with the powers that be over not receiving that award. It probably worked out better for the league as I get this crazy notion that James winning the award garnered more publicity than Ray would have. Kind of like Kobe and Shaq winning it back in the day.
5) Paul Pierce Wins 2010 Three Point Shootout
Is it a crime to put this win below Gerald Green’s dunk contest win? That’s for you guys to decide. This year’s new addition to the list though comes with the captain battling through a plethora of foot and knee injuries last year to win the Three Point Shootout in fairly undramatic 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.
4) Gerald Green 2007 Dunk Contest:
I was talked into pushing this one higher up the ladder but Gerald faces too much stiff competition from those above him. This win serves as the highlight of Green’s career right now, given his underwhelming play in Indiana right now.
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 KG deal and has bounced around and then out of the league for a few years before re-emerging with an improved overall game last year with the Nets.
3) Larry Bird 1986 3 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 Larry Bird. 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 this event making 11 straight shots in his route to a score of 22 in the finals. This score stood as highest final round total 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 Dunk Contest 1991:
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- ook 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 green. Check out below for an impressive montage of the back and forth between Brown and Kemp throughout the contest.
1) Larry Bird 1988 3 Point Shootout
A performance that encompasses the magic and confidence Larry 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 3 racks leaving him with an almost insurmountable deficit to overcome. It would foolish for me to try to describe the final 20 seconds so I will let the clip do the talking. Enjoy.