OPOwieści
z NBA

interviews

opowieści z nba

Cedric Maxwell

Zdjęcia: gettyimages

Przemek Opłocki:

You played for 3 teams – Celtics, Clippers and Rockets – but let’s be honest: you were and will be always part of a Boston family. Was it from the beginning? Did you want to be a Celtics player in the draft day?

Cedric Maxwell:

Actually no… I wanted Atlanta to drafted me. Truth is, Red didn’t want to draft me either. He wanted a good player named Ernie Grunfeld from Tennessee. Milwaukee drafted Ernie at 11. Red took me at 12 and Atlanta picked Tree Rollins at 14. All in all, I’d say it all worked out just fine and history agrees.

PO:

Red Auerbach was the executive. How do you remember your first meeting?

CM:

I flew to Boston alone, took a cab from the airport to Causeway. I got dropped off at the old Boston Garden. Damn place was a barn (laugh) When I got inside, I was directed to Red’s office and I can remember hearing a lot of laughter. One laugh was a belly laugh I’ll never forget. I knocked on the door, the laughing stopped, Red Auerbach and my first coach Tommy Heinsohn (RIP) was sitting inside the office. No more laughter, just straight faces. I was shaking in my boots.

PO:

During your career in Boston Celtics, you plated for 5 coaches: Heinsohn, Sanders, Cowens, Fitch and K.C. Jones. With whom from mentioned you had the best relation and why?

CM:

I loved Tommy, loved Coach Fitch. KC was great because he understood how to let us play. We had exceptionally smart players on those teams. Satch and I are still close. Dave was more of a teammate… truthfully, I liked all my coaches in Boston.

PO:

In 1981 you were NBA Finals MVP. What happened that you played on such a tremendous level?

CM:

Just in the zone brother. People forget that prior to Larry becoming LARRY, I was the player of note on the Celtics. I averaged 19 PPG the year before Larry arrived. It was my first time in the Finals, but not my first rodeo where I had to perform at a high level.

PO:

Which season with Celtics was the best for you? And why?

CM:

Like I said, 1978 I averaged most points, but we were not any good as a team. It was the transition year between drafting Larry and him actually being able to play. I’d say my best seasons were 78-84.

PO:

You won 2 NBA titles: in 1981 against Houston Rockets, and in 1984 against Los Angeles Lakes. Which tastes better for you?

CM:

Any time you beat them, damn Lakers, it’s a sweet as pie. The 81 Finals MVP is my shining moment though. I guess they’re equal to me but for different reasons.

PO:

How could you describe, from your perspective, ‘saint war’ against Lakers?

CM:

It was hate man. We hated purple and gold. I always say… if one of them, Lakers stars, were on fire, I’m not throwing water on them (laugh) Of course years go by and the fire of the rivalry still exists, but we are like old warriors now with a mutual respect.

PO:

When you helped James Worthy to be “not so successful” at free-throw line and wore glasses like Kurt Rambis did, had you planned it or were they spontaneous actions?

CM:

Totally spontaneous bro (laugh)

PO:

I talked with Dino Radja about sentence ‘Once A Celt, Always a Celt’, that he felt like a part of a big family. Do you feel the same? Do you still have “the green heart”?

CM:

I bleed green. For sure, I was gone for a long time though. Coming back has been bitter sweet. I think I’m in my 27th year back with the Celtics and yah… I’m the elder statesman now I guess (laugh) I bleed green though for sure.

PO:

We know that Bill Simmons is a huge Celtics fan. How do you think, would you be in his 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th All-Time Celtics Team? And in which?

CM:

I like Bill a lot, but I don’t care if I’m in any of his teams (laugh) I’m a Boston Celtics. I’m on Red’s team. My number hangs in the rafters with the all-time greats. I aspire to be on no other team (laugh). I do like Simmons though.

PO:

Your top 5 Celtic players you played with…

CM:

Too hard of question. I’m not dodging you. I loved all my teammates for different reasons my friend. No more one over the other. All equal.