On this day in Boston Celtics history, former Celtic small forward Justin Ray “J.R.” Giddens came into this world in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1985.
Giddens would play his NCAA basketball as a Jayhawk under legendary collegiate head coach Roy Williams at the University of Kansas, but would later transfer to the University of New Mexico after getting into a serious altercation at Kansas. He would be picked up by the Celtics out of New Mexico with the 30th overall pick of the 2008 NBA draft but got little playing time on the defending champion’s roster given their designs on a repeat.
Instead, Giddens spent most of his time with the Utah Flash in the NBA’s D League (as the G League was then known).
The New Mexico alum would make his debut for the Celtics in a 128-108 blowout of the Phoenix Suns on Feb. 22, 2009. But he did not register much in the way of a stat line in less than a minute and a half of game time.
He would fare better with time, working his way up to 2.2 points and 1.6 rebounds per game in his second season with the team. He would be dealt with Eddie House, Henry Walker, and draft assets for Marcus Landry and Nate Robinson in February 2010.
The Celtics won the contest largely on the efforts of the Duke product, Boston outscoring L.A. 14-6 in the final frame to win the game 141-133, with a 31-point boost from veteran guard Marcus Smart for good measure.
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