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Celtics legend, Hall of Famer “Easy Ed” Macauley dies at 83

Nov 9, 2011, 9:36 AM EST

Ed Macauley AP

How good was “Easy Ed” Macauley (who you might not have seen unless you were a Celtics fan in the 1950s)?

Three of the top five guys who show up in similarity scores (in terms of career impact) are Moses Malone, Patrick Ewing and Shaquille O’Neal. (Info via Basketball-Reference.) That is some pretty impressive company.

Hall of Famer Macauley passed at age 83, St. Louis University announced Tuesday.

Macauley was a forward/center and seven-time All-Star in the rough and tumble NBA of the 1950s and twice led the league in field goal percentage (and was never outside the top 10 in that category for his entire career). He won one NBA ring with the St. Louis Hawks in 1958.

For Celtics fans, he was the guy you traded for the draft rights to Bill Russell. Still he was enough of a Celitics legend that Boston has retired his number, 22.

As for his nickname “Easy Ed,” he told the AP the story of how he got it.

“It was the first time I was appointed captain (at St. Louis University),” Macauley said. “We dressed in the basement of West Pine Gym and it was my role to lead the team from the basement locker room through the door.

“But nobody followed me when I ran down the court and made a layup. Then I heard people shout, ‘Take it easy, Ed.’ I didn’t realize it, but they were playing the national anthem. That ‘Easy Ed’ nickname helped me get a lot of attention.”

Our condolences go out to Macauley’s friends and family.

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