HoopsHype Robert Parish rumors

October 28, 2014 Updates

On Wednesday night, Garnett will start his 20th season by playing against his former team, the Boston Celtics. Garnett doesn't believe he is about to play in his 20th season opener, even if he did tell Kevin McHale as a rookie that he hoped to match his age when he came into the league as an 18-year-old with the number of NBA seasons he'd play. "I definitely can't," said Garnett, who joins Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Robert Parish and Kevin Willis as players to play 20 seasons. "I have always enjoyed the game of basketball, probably always will. You don't have to motivate me, to push me out of bed to do this." ESPN.com

December 3, 2013 Updates

Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili played in their 469th regular-season win for the Spurs on Monday, giving them the third-highest total for any trio of teammates in NBA history. The Spurs' big three had been tied with Bill Russell, K.C. Jones and Sam Jones (468 for Boston). The two higher totals were by Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish for the Celtics (540); and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson and Michael Cooper for the Lakers (490). ESPN.com

August 8, 2013 Updates

The Celtics Hall of Famer remarked at one point Tuesday afternoon how, as he approaches his 60th birthday later this month, he’s often told he looks better than his age. But Parish, “The Chief,” admitted that his age might be working against him as he tries to find a job, an endeavor that he said is more out of boredom than for money. Boston Globe

August 7, 2013 Updates

As for what the Celtics have left on the roster, it is expected that point guard Rajon Rondo, coming off knee surgery, will be the focal point of the team. Parish is something of a kindred spirit with Rondo. Before coming to Boston, he was with the Warriors, but Golden State sought to get rid of Parish because of attitude problems. He understands, then, that reputations can be distorted. “Just going by what I have heard, I have heard he has a talent for being difficult,” Parish said. “But you can say that about most of us. I know I had my moments. For me, if I don’t know you, I come across as being aloof and distant if I don’t know you. I am just quiet if I don’t know you. I can be very stoic looking, that’s just my facial expression. I don’t smile a lot. I come across as being arrogant and dismissive, even if that is not the case. I know what it is to be misunderstood. I can’t say for sure that’s the case with Rondo, but I can understand it if it is.” Sporting News

Now that he is removed from the shadow of Pierce and Garnett, Parish said, Rondo could thrive. That’s what happened to him, after all, when he went from the Warriors to the Celtics, for whom he made nine All-Star teams. “It turned out to be a good thing,” Parish said, laughing. “Things went real smooth, I had a fine time in Boston. A bad reputation doesn’t mean you can’t fix it. It can happen.” Sporting News

February 20, 2013 Updates
January 26, 2013 Updates

Robert Parish, “The Chief,” rarely talked to the media and never hung around with Celtics teammates after a game. Associates say he would not answer his phone, letting messages go to voicemail. After leaving the team in 1994, he let his connection to the Green fray and fade, even to the point of selling off his 1986 world championship ring for spending money. So it was a surprise when this resolute loner picked up the phone at his home in North Carolina on the third ring. “People shouldn’t feel sad; they should help me get a job,” said the Hall of Fame center with the deep voice on the other end. “I need a coaching job in the NBA. I’m restless and I need money. ” Boston Globe

Parish, 59, said that Bird and McHale, both of whom have held coaching and front office jobs in the league (McHale is the coach of the Houston Rockets), have done nothing to help him in his quest to return to the NBA, although he says he has reached out to them. He calls his Hall of Fame teammates “acquaintances.” “In my case, I don’t have any friends,’’ Parish said. “I saw Kevin at an event; he said he was going to call me. He never called. I called Larry twice when I was at the Indiana Pacers; he never returned my call. And not just Larry. Across the board, most NBA teams do not call back. You need a court order just to get a phone call back from these organizations. I’m not a part of their fraternity.” Boston Globe

McHale, for his part, expressed remorse in a voicemail. He said he tried to hire Parish when he was in Minnesota, but “I went back and checked . . . we were actually reducing spots at the time. Then I was let go from Minnesota.” He says he saw Parish later, when McHale worked for TNT. “I feel terrible about the whole thing, but I just didn’t have a position,’’ McHale said. “I would have loved to have hired Robert if something would’ve came up.” Boston Globe

Pressed for a further explanation, he answered, “I don’t know. I would not consider myself part of Larry’s inner circle, like he’s not in my inner circle. Same thing with Kevin. He’s not in my inner circle; I’m not in his inner circle. Same thing with Danny. You know we respect each other. We had the camaraderie, obviously, collectively, on the team because of our success on the court. But off the court, you know, we weren’t hanging out going to dinner, drinks, going to the movies, double dating, whatever you wanted to do. We weren’t doing any of that.” Boston Globe

Parish is pressed on his relationship with Ainge. He responds by reaching back in time, telling a story about how Celtics president Red Auerbach and coach K.C. Jones once asked him to take fewer shots because Dennis Johnson and Ainge wanted more scoring opportunities. The Chief readily agreed. “Danny is selfish, even after I made the sacrifice for him and DJ, he still asked to be traded.’’ Boston Globe

Several years ago, his representatives reached out to all 30 NBA teams. Only two called him back. Now he’s trying harder. “I’ve been guilty of that, too, not returning phone calls.’’ he said. “We all have. “ He says he’s not angry at his teammates, either. “I have never sat here and said those [expletive] didn’t call me back. Not one time. I am very proud of this fact.” Boston Globe

Parish, who earned roughly $24 million in 21 years in the NBA, says he needs a job with a substantial six-to-seven-figure salary. “I don’t want to have to start over. I’m not homeless and I’m not penniless, but I need to work.” Parish, who lives in an immaculate, tastefully decorated tan stucco home on the edge of a golf course, says his money was drained away because he wasn’t working and he was “too generous” with family, friends, and significant others. “There’s no need in crying about that now. I’m not making no excuses ’cause I’m to blame. I enjoyed it. I don’t want to come across as Poor Robert.’’ Boston Globe

October 24, 2012 Updates
June 1, 2012 Updates

Robert Parish, the Hall of Fame Boston Celtics player who won four titles over more than two decades in the NBA, auctioned his 1981 NBA championship ring on Wednesday. According to GreyFlannelAuctions.com, the site hosting the auction, there were 15 bids for the ring and the winning bid went for $45,578 but the identity of the buyer was not revealed. SI.com

March 8, 2012 Updates

Parish was the most athletic and ultimately the healthiest of the Big Three. His teammates' physical struggles left him heartsick. "It struck a chord with me," said Parish. "They had two of the best work ethics I've ever seen, and their bodies just failed them. I hated it." The problem was compounded by Bird's demeanor, which habitually soured when he was hurting. "Larry could be a real pain in the backside when things weren't going his way," Parish said. "I have no problem with that [description]," Bird said. "My concern at the end was, 'How's my back going to be when I get out of here?' I played two years in total agony." ESPN.com

In their final two seasons together, Bird and McHale grew increasingly distant, even mildly antagonistic. The pain and disappointment of their suddenly limited skills wore on both of them. "At that point Kevin was the healthier of the two, and he felt Larry should have deferred to him more," Parish said. "That's when the relationship really started to deteriorate." "The injuries made us all ornery," McHale said. "We were all experiencing the same thing and we were just miserable." "When you are injured, you can't move, you can't do what you want, so you don't want to talk to anybody," Bird said. "You just want to be alone." For McHale, the ultimate indignity was his inability to get a stop on the defensive end. "I'm matching up with players who are nothing special and they don't even see me," McHale said. "They are scoring over me like I'm not even there. "After one particularly rough night, I remember I went home and cried. I cried over the loss of that part of me that had been with me since I was 13 years old." ESPN.com

Celtic lore tells us Boston fielded proposals that would have sent Bird to Indiana, McHale to Dallas and Parish to Seattle, but Auerbach refused to pull the trigger on any of them. "I will always be grateful for Red for not trading me," McHale said. "It meant the world to me to play my entire career with the Celtics. I know people want to criticize him now but I loved the fact Red said, 'Screw it, these are my guys.' There was real honor to it, something you hardly ever see today." Bird wonders aloud if some of the so-called deals fall under the category of revisionist history. He points out that as late as the 1990-91 season, the Celtics were 29-5 and legitimate contenders before his back went out and McHale sprained his ankle. "I think those trade rumors were BS," Bird said. "Danny [Ainge] can sit there and say he talked to Red about trading us before we got too old, but all I know is I talked to Red all the time and he never -- ever -- told me, 'I could trade you for Chuck Person' or anyone else." ESPN.com

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