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Why didn’t the Celtics draft Tony Parker? Red Auerbach

Jun 18, 2014, 12:22 PM EST

Jordan Crawford, Tony Parker Jordan Crawford, Tony Parker

Eighteen teams over 27 picks passed on Tony Parker in the 2001 NBA draft before the Spurs selected him with the final pick of the first round.

Parker – all due respect to Pau Gasol – became the best player in that draft. A four-time NBA champion, four-time All-NBA player and six-time All-Star, Parker has had an incredible career.

There are a lot of teams kicking themselves today.

Nobody passed on him more than the Celtics, who held the Nos. 10, 11 and 21 picks. They used those first two picks on Joe Johnson and Kedrick Brown, and then-Boston general manager Chris Wallace – who now runs the Grizzlies – knew what to do next.

Ian O’Connor of ESPNNewYork.com:

https://twitter.com/Ian_OConnor/status/478951920191963136

Boston, as Auerbach desired, drafted Joe Forte.

That devilish Red Auerbach – always costing the Celtics championships. Will Boston fans ever forgive him?

By the way, why do we never hear about that time a GM really wanted a prospect who didn’t pan out but was ultimately talked out of it?

  1. lphboston - Jun 18, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    Might be BS, but the story reportedly went this way. Wallace, Auerbach and Jim O’Brien each got one pick. Wallace grabbed Johnson, O’Brien was buds with Brown’s community college coach and took him, and Auerbach took Forte because he knew the family. Brown and Forte were washouts, and Johnson went to the Suns for Rodney Rogers.

  2. rajbais - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    Playing the results or using hindsight is for morons.

    Joe Johnson failed in Boston, but was only going to do well after he left for a place where he could get playing time.

    Parker would have failed in Boston. Go look at the other two draft picks from 2001 kedrick brown and Joe forte.

    Unless you are a once-in-a-lifetime superstar coming into the draft your circumstances affect your playing career.

    Who knows if Kahwi Leonard would’ve been a good player in Indiana.

    • TheMorningStar - Jun 19, 2014 at 10:56 AM

      Joe Johnson did not ‘fail’ in Boston. He was a rookie who, like all rookies, was adjusting to the league.

      Back to the forest for you…troll.

      • rajbais - Jun 19, 2014 at 8:02 PM

        “He was a rookie who, like all rookies, was adjusting to the league.”

        Lame excuse moron!!! Go look at the drafts until 2000.

        The 1986, 1987 drafts are why Joe Johnson stunk in Boston.

      • rajbais - Jun 19, 2014 at 8:03 PM

        I’m a millennial too, but I don’t act like an excuse maker the way you do.

      • TheMorningStar - Jun 20, 2014 at 10:05 AM

        You are delusional if you think the 86 and 87 drafts had any causal relationship to joe johnson and his 48 game stint with Boston.

        Back on the psychotropic drugs for you..lunatic.

      • TheMorningStar - Jun 20, 2014 at 10:08 AM

        Sorry old sport, i may be close to 100 yrs old but Im no where near 1000 yrs old.

  3. rajbais - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    Let the media do the career projections and grades after four years from now on and that way they will think twice about hindsight or playing the results.

  4. WillIEverSeeACupInMyLife? - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    You can do this with EVERY draft in EVERY sport….

    Michael Jordon selected #3

    Wayne Gretzky NEVER DRAFTED

    Tom Brady 6th round

    Barry Bonds selected #6

    Etc, etc, etc………..

    • asimonetti88 - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:19 PM

      Wayne Gretzky was never drafted because he was signed into the WHA at age 17 to a special personal service contract, so that when the WHA folded, he was protected under that contract and the remaining WHA teams got to choose him, and he ended up on the Oilers, who then ran train on the NHL for the majority of the 80s.

    • 1historian - Jun 19, 2014 at 10:36 AM

      That is quite true, and it is also true that for old farts like moi it is fun to grab a brew sit down at the computer and yak away for an hour or two.

      Shirley you wouldn’t begrudge me that?

  5. limonadamas - Jun 18, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    Really? Pau was worse than Tony Parker? I know this guy’s not a Laker fan, but c’mon…. They’re at least a wash.

    • therealhtj - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      It’s close – slight edge to Parker I’d say.

    • asimonetti88 - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:20 PM

      It’s certainly debatable. They’re both very good players.

      • limonadamas - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:57 PM

        I agree, they’re both very good. Both are sure-fire HOF’ers (especially because of their international play).

        Parker’s definitely had the greatest ROI with regard to draft position. I just think people have criminally underrated Pau over his career and quickly forget how good of a player he was in his prime.

      • limonadamas - Jun 18, 2014 at 3:58 PM

        I agree, they’re both very good. Both are sure-fire HOF’ers (especially because of their international play).

        Parker’s definitely had the greatest ROI with regard to draft position. I just think people have criminally underrated Pau throughout his career and quickly forget how good of a player he was in his prime.

    • bhunter1995 - Jun 18, 2014 at 7:33 PM

      Its close but I’ll take a 22-10-4 seven footer (who has excellent court vision and used to be the second best post player in the game). People forget how good Pau used to be, they know the LAL Pau, the media punching bag Pau, the 18-10 Pau. Not the beast that Pau used to be back in the day when he was dropping 22-11-4 from the low block as the center of an offense. Honestly, because good big men and good post players are so rare, I’m taking Pau over Parker but only due to the fact that there are more good guards then Bigs and a legitimately good back to the basket big man is something that is very hard to find in today’s NBA.

    • imakcds - Jun 18, 2014 at 9:42 PM

      I think Gasol is a better HOF candidate than Parker.

      • genericcommenter - Jun 19, 2014 at 12:03 AM

        I would think so, too. However, Basketball-Reference ranks Parker as 12th and Gasol 16th among current NBA players in HOF probability. Parker at 89% and Gasol at 61%.. People do love to hate on the Bosh 96% and Carter 71% though.

  6. chunkala - Jun 18, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    Don’t like the Celtics, but cmon, who knew that Parker would be any good at all.
    What about other French imports like Freddy Weis?

    • Zammael - Jun 18, 2014 at 6:31 PM

      Or Boris Diaw?

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