May 24, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird watches the game against the Miami Heat in game three of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Arena. Miami Heat defeated the Indiana Pacers 99-87. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NBA Draft: The Celtics' History Of Picking Sixth

With the 2014 NBA Draft just hours away, I thought now would be a good time to inform all of you that the Boston Celtics have the sixth pick in tonight’s fairly important league-wide event.

No duh, right?  Well, I thought I should make sure you were all up to speed.

Seriously, though: since the Celtics are picking sixth, I thought it might be fun to do a little research as to how many time Boston has held the number six pick in the NBA Draft.

First of all, the Celtics don’t have a history of drafting very high.  Winning 17 championships will do that for ya!  Boston has only picked first once (1950); second, once (1986); third , four times (1947, 1948, 1955, 1980); fourth only twice (1949, 1970); fifth, three times (1953, 1954, 2007); and the Celtics have picked sixth just five times before today (1952, 1959, 1978, 1996, 1997).

Interesting?  Maybe. maybe not.

Of course, you are now going to want to know whom the Boston Celtics used the sixth pick on the four times they drafted in that spot, aren’t ya?  Well of course you are!

1952: Bob Stauffer

1959: Jon Richter

1996: Antoine Walker

1997: Ron Mercer

1978: Larry Bird

While Antonie Walker had some All-Star years in his NBA career, and Ron Mercer was a good college player whose game never translated into the NBA, clearly the highlight of this bunch is Jon Richter, who played one entire season the NBA and left with a championship ring on his finger.

Just kidding.  Not about Richter’s stats, just about him being the highlight of this little history lesson.

Obviously the fact that the Celtics were able to draft Larry Bird in the six spot – three MVP awards, three championship rings, one of the top 25 players ever to wear shorts and a jersey in the NBA – should fill Celtics fans with all sort of unwarranted optimism.  Apparently, people were a lot dumber back in 1978 – look at which players were drafted ahead of Larry Legend: [related-content]

Mychal Thompson, Phil Ford, Rick Robey, Michael Ray Richardson, and Purvis Short.

Who?  Exactly.

Yeah, yeah – Red Auerbach employed a bit of trickey to get Bird, drafting him before The Hick From French Lick was ready to sign – but if Red did it, that means others could have employed the same tomfoolery, too!

Anyway, I’m not saying that there is a player of Larry Bird’s caliber likely to be had in this draft, especially at the six spot.  Still, drafting sixth has not been the kiss of death for the Cs, and with this year’s talent, it should definitely take the franchise one step closer to bringing home banner number 18.

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