Robert Parish credits team-first play with the Boston Celtics of his era having so many Hall of Famers

While Hall of Fame Boston Celtics big man Robert Parish was a rising talent before he was traded from the Golden State Warriors to the Celtics, and won an NBA title after leaving Boston, the three titles with the Celts that the Louisiana native won in the 1980s have stuck with Parish over all of these years.

The Centenary College alum opened up about his time with Boston during their championship runs with Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Danny Ainge in a recent interview with the “Players’ Own Voice” podcast. Asked how he would describe his glory days with the Celtics, Chief had a quick, brief reply followed by a long one.

“Sweet,” he began. “I always consider myself to be lucky to play with the talent that I played with.”

“All Hall of Famers that I played with, going back to my time when the where I started at with the Golden State Warriors, I play with some great personnel,” he continued. “And also when I went to Boston.”

“I played with even better talent because with the Warriors there was only one Hall of Famer on that team at the time, and that was Rick Barry.”

“And then when I went to Boston — let’s see Larry (Bird), Kevin (McHale), Dennis Johnson, Bill Walton, Tiny Archibald,” Parish recounted, “a lot.”

“We didn’t know at the time that we were going to be Hall of Famers. But it turns out that that was the case, though. And then I look back on my career, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman. So I think that’s one of the reasons why my career was so successful. And I think that’s one of the reasons why I’m in the Hall of Fame today — it is not so much my individual talent, but the team talent. We had so much team success.”

“I think that catapulted all of us into the Hall of Fame. Not that we wouldn’t have made the Hall of Fame by myself individually, but when you’re on great teams, it’s a better chance it’s going to happen.”

It will be curious to see if the Celtics stars of today — quite a stacked team in their own right — take heed of such an example.

While counterfactuals have the unique capability of being impossible to determine, had Parish, Bird, and McHale et al. been on the lookout for their own goals, we might not be talking about the franchise itself in quite the same way.

Then as now, basketball is a team sport, and making great players even better continues to have a synergistic quality Parish and the rest of the 1980s Celtics squads took advantage of it in a big way.

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Story originally appeared on Celtics Wire