On this day: Wiz bested in ’18 East semis; Bing inducted; Nelson, Vaughn born

On this day in Boston Celtics history, former Celtics point guard Dave Bing was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield Massachusetts in 1990 along with iconic big man Elvin Hayes, legendary Philadelphia Warriors center Neil Johnston, and famed guard Earl “The Pearl” Monroe.

After spending the bulk of his career with the Detroit Pistons — a city he would one day become the mayor of — the Washington, D.C. native would play two seasons with his hometown Washington Bullets before signing with the Celtics as a free agent in the final season of his storied career.

He joined Boston for its 1977-78 campaign and scored 13.6 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game before retiring from the NBA at the end of the season.

It is also the birthday of former Celtic “big” man Virgil Vaughn, who stood just 6-foot-4. Vaughn was a member of Boston’s inaugural season as a Basketball Association of America team, in the days before that organization became the NBA.

The Western Kentucky alum played just 17 games for the team that season, averaging 2.6 points and 0.6 assists — rebounds, blocks, and many other stats had yet to be recorded.

Don Nelson Boston Celtics
Don Nelson Boston Celtics

March 17, 1973; Atlanta, GA, USA; Boston Celtics forward Don Nelson (19) in action against the Atlanta Hawks at The Omni. Mandatory Credit: Manny Rubio-USA TODAY Sports

Today is also the birthday of famed former Boston forward Don Nelson, perhaps better known today for his niche agriculture than time in green and white.

But, Nelson was a key part of the latter end of the Celtics juggernaut of the 1960s, winning three banners in that halcyon era and two more in the 1970s.

BOSTON – 1976: (L-R) Dave Cowens #18, Don Nelson #19, and John Havlicek #17 of the Boston Celtics sit on the bench during a game in the 1976 NBA Finals at the Boston Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Celtics defeated the Phoenix Suns 4-2 and won the 1976 NBA Championship.  (Photo by Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images)

After 11 seasons with Boston, Nelson retired as a player to become head coach of the rival Milwaukee Bucks and several other NBA teams in later years.

He logged 11.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game in his tenure with the Celtics.

It was on this date in 1975 that hometown man Terry Driscoll signed with the Celtics as a free agent.

A native of Winthrop, Massachusetts, and an alum of Boston College, Driscoll was picked up by the Detroit Pistons out of college, and played there, the (then) Baltimore Bullets (now, Washington Wizards), the Milwaukee Bucks, and the Spirits of Saint Louis (of the American Basketball Association) before joining Boston at the end of his career.

He never suited up for the Celtics however, instead retiring as a player.

Celtics 2008 championship
Celtics 2008 championship

(AP Photo/Winslow Townson)

It was also on this date in 2021 that the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced two Celtics alumni would be inducted into that year’s class.

That would of course be Kevin Garnett as a player, and Bill Russell as a head coach.

May 15, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat (13) shoots the ball over Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk (41) during the second half in game seven of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

It is also the anniversary of two playoff victories since the season of Boston’s last title in 2007-08.

The first was a 115-105 Game 7 closeout win over the Washington Wizards in the 2017 NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals despite 38 points from Wiz guard Bradley Beal.

The win was secured by a huge game from reserve big Kelly Olynyk, who scored 26 points off the bench.

May 15, 2017; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas (4) is congratulated by Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) after the Celtics defeated the Wizards in game seven of the second round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Point guard Isaiah Thomas led Boston with 29 points and 12 assists, and big man Al Horford added 15 points, 6 boards, and 5 assists.

“I knew it would be a big-time game tonight. I knew it wouldn’t be easy at all,” Thomas said via the Associated Press. “And we came out on top.”

May 15, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics forward Al Horford (42), forward Jayson Tatum (0), and guard Terry Rozier (12) attempt to control a rebound away from Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson (13) during the third quarter in game two of the Eastern Conference finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Boston also defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 107-94 in Game 2 of the 2018 NBA Eastern Conference Finals even with 42 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists from LeBron James.

Shooting guard Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 23 points and 6 rebounds, point guard Terry Rozier added 18 points and 6 rebounds and Horford chipped in 15 points and 10 rebounds.

“We’re going to fight,” Rozier said via the A.P. “At this point, we don’t care if we win by half a point. If we win, that’s all that matters.”

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire