On this day: Gary Payton signs with Boston; Jared Sullinger born; Chick Halbert passes
On this day in Boston Celtics history, the storied franchise signed Hall of Fame point guard Gary Dwayne Payton Sr. as an unrestricted free agent. The Glove — as Payton was called as a reference to his fabled defensive prowess — was approaching the twilight of his career at age 36, but still had some high-level play left in the tank to offer the Celtics.
The nine-time All-Star was technically in his second stint with the team after having been dealt to the Celtics from the Los Angeles Lakers that past August in 2004 with Rick Fox and a 2006 first-round draft pick that would be used to select Rajon Rondo for Chucky Atkins, Jumaine Jones, and Chris Mihm.
Oddly enough he was greatly displeased with having been dealt to the Celtics at first and refused to report to the team, but ultimately acquiesced and was subsequently traded by Boston with Tom Gugliotta, Michael Stewart to the Atlanta Hawks for old friend Antoine Walker.
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
A week later after being waived by Atlanta, Payton returned to the Celtics on this date, and finished out the season, signing with the Miami Heat that summer for the final stop of his career.
He averaged 11.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.1 steals per game with Boston.
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
It is also the birthday of former Boston big man Jared Sullinger, born this day in 1992 in Columbus, Ohio.
A product of his hometown University of Ohio, Sullinger was picked up by the Celtics with the 21st pick of the 2012 NBA draft and played four seasons with Boston before signing a deal with the Toronto Raptors in 2016.
The Ohioan recorded 11.1 points, 7.7 boards, and 1.1 assists per game as a Celtic.
Happy birthday in heaven Chick Halbert. #Celtics pic.twitter.com/75H2hRopXh
— Honest☘️Larry (@HonestLarry1) February 27, 2021
Finally, today is the date of the passing of Boston big man Charles “Chick” Pinkney Halbert IV in 2013. The Celtics short-timer played 33 games for Boston in their Basketball Association of America (BAA – a precursor league of the NBA) in the 1948-49 season.
He averaged 9.4 points and 1.8 assists per contest — rebounds were not yet tabulated. Rest in peace, Chick.
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