On this day: Garnett, Fitch born; Bird triple-doubles vs. Detroit in ’87 ECF

On this day in Boston Celtics history, iconic Hall of Fame big man Kevin Garnett was born in Greenville, South Carolina. Garnett was one of the most successful players to go directly from high school (and one of the first to do so in decades) to the NBA after spending his high school career at Chicago’s Farragut Career Academy.

He entered the 1995 NBA draft and was selected fifth overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves, with whom he found limited success. While he made the playoffs in eight of his 12 seasons with the team, eventually Garnett became frustrated and was dealt to Boston in the summer of 2007.

He won his first championship at the end of his first season with the Celtics, but injuries and bad luck kept KG from having more than one more NBA Finals appearance (2010) with Boston.

Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett kisses the Boston Celtics logo as he celebrates the Celtics 131-92 win over the Los Angeles Lakers to win the NBA basketball Championship in Boston, Tuesday, June 17, 2008. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Garnett was dealt to the Brooklyn Nets along with Paul Pierce and guard Jason Terry in 2013. He signed with Minnesota to close his Hall of Fame career.

He averaged 15.7 points, 11 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game with the Celtics.

Bill Fitch Boston Celtics
Bill Fitch Boston Celtics

AP Photo/Paul Benoit

It is also the birthday of former Celtics head coach Bill Fitch, who was born on this day in 1932 in Davenport, Iowa.

Fitch, a former United States Marine Corps drill instructor, coached at a number of schools in the college ranks before becoming head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1970.

Larry Bird, center, becomes the richest rookie in sports history at $3.25 million for five years as he signs a contract with the Boston Celtics in Boston, June 9, 1979. At left is Celtics President Red Auerbach. At right is Celtics head coach Bill Fitch. AP Photo

In 1979, he resigned from that position after a long rebuild and moderate playoff success to take over as head coach of the Celtics, replacing Dave Cowens in the role.

Fitch would have a big impression on incoming rookie Larry Bird, who credits Fitch for helping lay the foundation of his notoriously intense work ethic. Boston won 61 games in his first season with the team.

Boston Celtics Kevin McHale takes a pointer from Celtics head coach Bill Fitch during practice Monday afternoon at Boston Garden, May 4, 1981. The Celtics downed the Philadelphia 76ers 91-90. The Celtics will now meet with the Houston Rockets in a best-of-seven series for the National Basketball Association championship title. The first games open in Boston Tuesday night. AP Photo/Benoit

The franchise won a title in 1981 under Fitch, but declining wins and other issues led him to resign in 1983.

He recorded a 242-86 regular-season record and a 26-19 playoff record with the Celtics, good for .738 and .578 winning percentages, respectively.

Isiah Thomas of the Detroit Pistons reacts at right as he goes up against Boston Celtics Jerry Sichting in first-quarter action at night, Tuesday, May 19, 1987, in Boston Garden. AP Photo/David M. Tenenbaum

It is also the anniversary of Boston legend Larry Bird scoring a triple-double to help lead the Celtics to a 104-91 win over the Detroit Pistons in Game 1 of the 1987 Eastern Conference finals.

Bird logged 18 points despite shooting only 31.8% from the floor that night, but he also recorded 16 rebounds and 11 assists to secure the win for Boston.

The Indiana native recorded 10 career playoff triple-doubles, including this one.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire