On this day in Boston Celtics history, the anniversary of the final chapter of one of the more odd tales in Boston Celtics history happens to fall and is therefore especially apropos for the first day of the new year.
In 1979, the new owner of the storied franchise, John Y. Brown, attended his very first game as the Celtics’ owner. That in and of itself is nothing especially remarkable, but Brown — former owner of the team which later became the Los Angeles Clippers — had just recently finalized the only “trade” of a franchise in league (and possibly all) history.
To say it another way, from a strictly legal point of view, the Celtics of Bill Russell, Tommy Heinsohn, and KC Jones are actually the Clippers.
(AP Photo/ G. Paul Burnett, File)
All of the records, roster, and such remained with each respective club after league lawyer and future commissioner David Stern struck a deal for ex-Celtics owner Irv Levin, who was hoping to move the team to southern California, which the league refused to allow.
Stern, an up-and-coming personality in the league, managed to negotiate a deal to have Buffalo Braves owner Brown to “trade” franchise rights, permitting Levin to move the Braves to L.A., where they became the Clippers.
(Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
It is also Glen “Big Baby” Davis’ birthday.
Drafted by the Seattle Supersonics with the 35th overall selection of the 2007 NBA draft, Davis never played for the team traded to Boston on the night Seattle selected him.
His draft rights were part of the package that brought Ray Allen to the team, making the Kevin Garnett trade and Banner 17 possible.
(AP Photo/Reinhold Matay)
Big Baby played a noteworthy role for the team, unusual for a rookie, never mind one drafted in the second round.
Davis continued to be an important rotation player for years until he was traded as part of the package that brought Brandon Bass to the Celtics.
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