One of the legends of the Boston Celtic and that is Robert Parish
Any Boston Celtic’s fans out there?
Some interesting points about Robert Parish.
Oh Yes, we carry Robert’s shoe size in a 16, we go to a 20 in length and 15 in women’s length as well, and if Robert needs wider width – we have up to 14 E widths in our line of shoes, and that is for women as well.
Robert Parish’s professional career started with the Golden State Warriors, center, 1976-80;
Boston Celtics, center, 1980-94; Charlotte Hornets, center, 1994-96;
Chicago Bulls, center, 1996-97.
Then after retiring, he was the USBL Maryland Mustangs, coach, 2000-01.
Robert Parish holds the distinction of playing in more games than any other player in the history of the National Basketball Association.
In an outstanding career that spanned a record 21 seasons, Parish’s remarkable endurance and skilled playing brought him numerous awards and four national NBA championship crowns.
It also landed him in the Basketball Hall of Fame in what Celtic Nation called “the culmination of a career unparalleled in its length and unquestioned in its brilliance.” Considering that Parish, after only four years of professional play, had seriously considered retiring, this was quite an achievement.
Robert Lee Parish was born on August 30, 1953, in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Though he soon shot up to a gangly six-foot-eight-inch junior high school student, Parish was not the least bit interested in basketball.
He even admitted many years later to the Boston Herald that he really didn’t like basketball growing up.
Robert focused instead on football, baseball, and track.
Then Coleman Kidd, the basketball coach at Union Junior High School, noticed Robert and knew from his incredible height that he had potential on the court.
Robert was not so sure.
Robert stated that the coach would come to his house and take him to practice every day until he had to start showing up myself.
Robert gave all the credit to the coach.
However, Robert was far from the Hall-of-Famer he would become, mainly because he was uncoordinated and lacked confidence.
Still, Coach didn’t give up on him.
He gave Robert a basketball to practice with at home and continued to nurture his skills.
Robert continued to grow, topping out at seven-foot-one-inch in height, and his skill on the court grew along with him. Robert started at Woodlawn High School in 1968, where he became a state champion.
He was named All-American, All-State, All-District, and All-City in 1972.
That same year he led his team to the state championships.
Colleges soon started calling, but Robert preferred to remain close to home, choosing to attend Shreveport’s Centenary College.
Robert took the court with the Centenary College team in 1972 and promptly began setting records for scoring and rebounding.
He was named Freshman of the Year and Louisiana Collegiate Player of the Year three times in a row.
In 1975, he was named a captain and starting center for the U.S. Pan-Am team, and in 1976 Sporting News named him to their All-American team.
In his senior year, he led the nation in rebounds with an average of 15.4 rebounds per game.
His efforts helped Centenary earn a spot in the top 25-ranked teams in the nation.
They also made Robert a top draft choice for the 1976 NBA draft.
However, Robert was never a player to seek the limelight for himself.
He preferred winning.
He was very unselfish, and if he didn’t have a shot, he had a great outlet pass and would swing it back out to one of his players.
Following his graduation in 1976, Robert immediately went pro.
The Golden State Warriors picked him up during the first round of the draft and made him their star player.
It was a mistake.
He didn’t fit into the Warrior system, which placed most of the scoring burden on the young seven-footer.
He was regarded as a leading man when his true calling was that of a supporting actor.
As a result, Robert floundered for four years with the team.
It was a difficult time for Robert, and he was soon ready to give it up.
He has stated, “that he was contemplating retiring because I was losing my passion for the game,” he went on to say “that I didn’t enjoy playing, and the guys I played with were very selfish and individualistic.
We weren’t playing as a team; we weren’t going anywhere, so I thought about giving it up.”
That all changed on June 9, 1980, when the Boston Celtics organized a trade that picked up not only Parish but top draft pick Kevin McHale.
That traded recharged his batteries.
Wearing jersey number 00, Robert became the Celtics’ starting center and went on the make some impressive statistics his first year out, including 18.9 points and 9.5 rebounds per game.
Robert found the perfect atmosphere in which to blend, which had always been his idea of hoop nirvana.
He could be himself, cede the spotlight, and go about his business. He did this very well, landing on the NBA All-Star team for 1981, and earning a spot on the All-Star team eight more times during his career.
Meanwhile, Robert would form, along with McHale and superstar Larry Bird, the formidable “Big Three” of the Boston Celtics.
The strategy, of the three, paid off, and the powerhouse trio led the Celtics to 13 playoffs, nine Atlantic Division titles, and five trips to the NBA championships.
They captured the title in three of those years, 1981, 1984, and 1986.
“It’s hard for me to even believe how good we were,” Parish later told the NBA website.
“Some nights I’d be out there just kicking some guy’s butt, really feeling it, and then I’d look over and see what Kevin was doing, and what Larry was doing, and I’d say, ‘Man, this is something.
This is special.'” Coaches and teammates had nothing but praise for Parish’s on-court demeanor.
“Robert was special because he knew his place on the team,” Parish’s former coach K.C. Jones told Celtic Nation.
“He knew that there were only so many basketballs to go around and that Larry and Kevin were going to get the majority of the shots. … He just understood what was expected of him, and he went out and did his job. Robert was awesome.
” Hall-of-Famer Bill Walton told the NBA website, “He’s probably the best medium-range shooting big man in the history of the game.”
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