On this day in Boston Celtics history, forward Antoine Devon Walker began playing for the team that drafted him in what would be his second stint with Boston after being dealt back to the Celtics by the Atlanta Hawks.
Walker had been selected by the storied franchise out of the University of Kentucky with the sixth overall pick of the 1996 NBA draft. Now, he was reunited with his former college head coach Rick Pitino after his rookie season (in which he made All-Rookie First Team) with the Celtics as Pitino was hired as the team’s head coach and president.
Walker would link up with future Boston champion Paul Pierce after he was also drafted by the Celtics in 1998 to make a few deep runs in the postseason in his first stint with the team.
(AP Photo/Michael Conroy, FILE)
Walker would make All-Star teams in 1998, 2002, and 2003 before being dealt to the Dallas Mavericks at the end of the 2002-03 season, who in turn dealt him to the Atlanta Hawks at the start of the next season.
He would be traded yet again the following winter, dealt back to Boston for Tom Gugliotta, Gary Payton, Michael Stewart, and draft assets.
Walker’s second stay with the Celtics was a short one, the Chicago native dealt to the Miami Heat in a massive, five-team trade the subsequent offseason.
It is also the date the Celtics traded big men Semih Erden and Luke Harangody to the Cleveland Cavaliers for draft assets.
Erden had been drafted 60th overall by Boston in the 2008 NBA draft from a career playing overseas, and Harangody was selected by the Celtics with the 52nd pick of the 2010 NBA draft.
Harangody averaged 2.3 points and 2 rebounds per game with Boston and Erden 4.1 points and 2.9 boards.
(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Today is also the date the Celtics traded champion center Kendrick Perkins with Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Jeff Green, Nenad Krstić, and cash and draft considerations.
Perk — as he is often called — had been taken by the Memphis Grizzlies with the 27th pick of the 2003 NBA draft but was dealt in a draft-night trade with Marcus Banks to Boston for Troy Bell and Dahntay Jones.
The Texas native would play eight seasons with the Celtics, winning a title there in 2008, and would average 6.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, and assist while with Boston.
— Honest☘️Larry (@HonestLarry1) February 24, 2021
Finally, it is also the birthday of former Celtic wing Moe Becker, born this day in 1917 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Traded by the (now defunct) Pittsburgh Ironmen to Boston for Tony Kappen, he was a member of the original Celtics team in the inaugural season of the Basketball Association of America (BAA — a precursor to the NBA) in 1946-47.
Becker played just six games for the Celtics, averaging 2.2 points per game before ending up on the (now defunct) Detroit Falcons to finish the season.
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