On this day: Celtic champ Robert Parish’ Jersey retired; Burrough born

On this day in Boston Celtics history, champion center Robert Parish saw his jersey raised to the rafters alongside banners he helped win as his No. 00 was retired by the Celtics in 1998.

In a ceremony at the halftime of a game against the Indiana Pacers (that was also Larry Bird’s return to the city for the first time as head coach of that organization), Robert “Chief” Parish had his jersey raised to the rafters of the Fleet Center (now, TD Garden). The game was a homecoming of sorts, as besides the return of Bird as coach of the Pacers, Kevin McHale was also in attendance.

He was at that time the vice president of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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McHale (per the Baltimore Sun’s Jerry Bembry) had this to say about the event:

“It was a great moment, great to see Robert’s number retired and great to see Larry here coaching … We spent a lot of time on that court together. Those days are all in the past now. All we can do now is sit back and watch everybody else play.”

Bird downplayed his return, instead emphasizing the ceremony, and Red Auerbach helped Parish raise the jersey to the rafters.

Former Boston Celtics star Robert Parish waves to the fans during his number retirement ceremony in Boston Sunday, Jan 18, 1998. (AP Photo/Victoria Arocho)

Said Chief of the experience (again per Bembry):

“As Red and I were raising the flag, I was flattered for the acknowledgment, that the Celtics thought enough of Robert Parish to retire his number … It ranks right up there with winning a championship, being selected as one of the 50 greatest athletes in the NBA.”

“It’s definitely a highlight in my career,” he added.

Virginias Junior Burrough (4) and teammate Martin Walton celebrate their 67-58 victory over Kansas in the NCAA Midwest Regionals, Friday, March 24, 1995, Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Cliff Schiappa)

Today is also the birthday of former Celtics big man Thomas Harold “Junior” Burrough, born this day in 1973 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Burrough played at the University of Virginia between 1991 and 1995 and was selected with the 33rd pick of the 1995 NBA draft by the Celtics.

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He averaged 3.1 points and 1.8 boards per game over the 1995 – 96 season before leaving to play overseas in Europe that summer.

The Virginia alum had a long career playing for many European teams before retiring in 2009.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire