On this day in Boston Celtics history, small forward Frankie Sanders was born in Dayton, Ohio back in 1957. Sanders had been a college star who averaged 26 points and ten rebounds per game when he played for Southern University and was picked up with the 20th overall pick of the 1978 NBA draft by the San Antonio Spurs.
Something of a tragic story, Sanders trashed what looked to be a promising career with substance abuse, effectively parting his way out of the NBA. This was likely a major factor behind the poor play (6 points and 2.7 boards per game).
This led the Spurs to waive the rookie just 22 games into his first season in the league.
Frankie J. Sanders, left, of the Boston Celtics, indicates the way the play is going as Bernard King of the New Jersey Nets juggles and intercepts a pass during the second quarter Nof BA action in Boston, April 8, 1979. (AP Photo)
The Celtics picked him up, and he finished the season with Boston, playing 24 games and averaging 5.5 points and 2.1 rebounds per game — not enough to warrant keeping him on in their eyes.
They did manage to parlay his contract into a second-round pick via the Indiana Pacers, who signed him but ultimately cut him before the regular season.
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It is also the date of the lowest score the Celtics ever held an opponent to, a 49-43 win in 1947 in their inaugural season against the now-defunct Pittsburgh Ironmen.
Charlie Hoefer led Boston with just 11 points in the low-scoring affair, and Coulby Gunther the Ironmen with 14.
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It is the date of a historic win by Boston over the Syracuse Nationals (now, Philadelphia 76ers), which saw the Celtics crush them 140-108.
The Celtics were led by Bill Sharman with 22 points and saw a huge night from Frank Ramsey with 20 points and 9 boards, with five other players scoring in double figures.
Jan 23, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum (0) dribbles during the first half against the Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
That date is also the day Jayson Tatum hung 51 points on the Washington Wizards in a 116-87 victory for Boston in 2022.
The St. Louis native put up 10 boards and 7 assists to go with his 50-burger as the Celtics started to heat up on their way to the 2022 NBA Finals.
(AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Finally, it is also the date we lost former Celtics center Bill Roberts in 2016. The Fort Wayne, Indiana native came into this world in 1925 and played his college ball for Wyoming.
Roberts had his rights sold to Boston by the Chicago Stags in 1948, and played 23 games with the Celtics in the 1948-49 season, averaging 3.1 points per game with the team — rest in peace.
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