On this day: 1st All-Star game at Boston Garden; Hazen, Jerebko born; Hermsen passes

On this day in Boston Celtics history, the very first All-Star game in the history of the NBA was held in the old Boston Garden in 1951. The game itself was the brainchild of NBA President Maurice Podoloff, NBA publicity director Haskell Cohen and Boston Celtics owner Walter A. Brown, who conceived of the event in a league meeting during the 1950-51 NBA season.

Reeling from the embarrassing collegiate point-shaving scandal that would get the University of Kentucky the only NCAA “death penalty” ban, the professional side of the sport was looking for a way to boost its public image.

The league settled on the now-annual exhibition to do it.

Ed Macauley
Ed Macauley

(AP Photo/Bill Chaplis)

Brown offered to host the event at his expense and set the tradition in motion.

The East would defeat the West 111-94 and, fittingly, star Celtic forward Easy Ed MacAuley would be named All-Star Most Valuable Player, scoring 20 points.


Today is also the birthday of former Celtic guard John Hazen, born this day in 1927 in Chicago, Illinois.

Hazen played for Boston in its Basketball Association of America (BAA — a precursor league to the NBA) in its second season of 1948-49 after playing collegiately for Indiana State University.

He appeared in just six games for the Celtics, averaging 3 points per game.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Hazen shares his birthday with Celtic fan-favorite forward Jonas Jerebko, who was born on March 2 in Kinna, Sweden in 1987.

Jerebko was drafted by the Detroit Pistons after beginning his career playing overseas and was dealt with Luigi Datome to Boston in exchange for forward Tayshaun Prince in 2015.

(Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

The Swedish Larry Bird — as Jerebko is sometimes called — would play parts of three seasons with the Celtics.

He averaged 4.6 points and 3.8 rebounds per game with the team before leaving in free agency to join the Golden State Warriors in 2018.

Finally, today is also the day we lost Clarence “Kleggie” Henry Hermsen in 1994.

The Hill City, Minnesota native played his college ball at his hometown Minnesota, and with the (defunct) Cleveland Rebels, (also defunct) Toronto Huskies (also defunct) Baltimore Bullets, (still defunct) Washington Capitals, and Tri-Cities Black Hawks (now, Atlanta Hawks) before he was dealt to Boston for center Harry Boykoff.

Playing in 27 games over two seasons, Hermsen logged 5.6 points and 4.8 boards per game with the Celtics — resit in peace.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire