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On this day: Celtics win Banner 16 vs. Rockets; Larry Bird signs

On this day in Boston Celtics history, the storied franchise won its 16th banner in 1986 as it defeated the Houston Rockets in six games. It would be the third title for the trio of small forward Larry Bird, big man Robert Parish and power forward Kevin McHale, and the last for Boston until 2008.

The collection of talent on the roster is nearly unparalleled, with four first-ballot Hall of Famers: Bird, McHale, Parish, and super sixth man Bill Walton. The team also had veteran point guard Dennis Johnson and shooting guard (and future team president) Danny Ainge on the roster.

The Celtics finished the season 67-15 record and one home loss — one of the most dominant teams in all of NBA history.

It is also the anniversary of Larry Bird signing with the Celtics in 1979.

Boston took a gamble by drafting Bird before he’d finished his collegiate career by using a now-closed loophole but ended up paying through the nose to do it, lest they risk Bird simply returning to the draft next year.

 

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After considerable negotiations, the Hick from French Lick signed a five-year, $3.25 million contract to become the highest-paid rookie in any sport up to that time.

“I should have told Mr. Auerbach,” joked Bird via the AP’s Dick Braude, “I would have played for nothing.”

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire