The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced that three former Boston Celtics will be enshrined as part of the 2018 class: Ray Allen, Dino Radja and Charlie Scott. Allen, Radja and Scott will join 28 former Celtics players previously enshrined as Hall of Famers.
Allen played for Boston for five seasons from 2007-08 through 2011-12. He was a key part of the 2008 Celtics championship team, as well as helping to drive five consecutive playoff appearances, including a second appearance in the NBA Finals in 2010.
During his Celtics tenure Allen averaged 16.7 point per game on 47.2 percent shooting from the field, including 40.9 percent on three-pointers. In 91 playoff games with Boston Allen averaged 15.5 points and hit 38.7 percent from behind the arc.
For his career Allen averaged 18.9 points per game. He hit 40 percent from deep, while making an NBA record 2,973 three-pointers.
Allen was acquired by Boston in June of 2007 from the Seattle SuperSonics, along with the draft rights to Glen Davis, in exchange for Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West, the draft rights to Jeff Green and a second round pick. In part, the acquisition of Allen led to Kevin Garnett waiving his no-trade clause from the Minnesota Timberwolves in order to be traded to the Celtics in July of 2008. Allen and Garnett teamed with holdover Paul Pierce to win 66 games and Boston’s record 17th NBA championship in their first season together.
Radja played four seasons for the Celtics from 1993-94 to 1996-97. He was originally drafted by Boston in the second round in 1989, but continued to play overseas for four seasons before joining the Celtics.
Radja started his career playing for his hometown club in Split, Croatia Jugoplastika (now known as KK Split). He then moved on to play for Il Messaggero Roma (now known as Pallacanestro Virtus Roma) before finally coming to Boston in 1993. Radja’s NBA debut was delayed by KK Split refusing to allow Radja out of his contract. He originally tried to force his release by signing a one-year deal with Boston in 1989, but the contract was nullified by a Massachusetts court. Radja return to Croatia for one more season and led KK Split to their third straight domestic league title and a back-to-back EuroLeague championship. He then played for Virtus Roma for three seasons and was voted as the second best player in Europe in the 1990-91, behind only former teammate Toni Kukoc.
In 1993, Radja made his long-awaited NBA debut for the Celtics. He was expected to replace Kevin McHale, who retired following the 1992-93 season, and join Reggie Lewis in keeping Boston as a competitive playoff squad. Unfortunately, Lewis passed away that summer and the Celtics entered an unforeseen rebuilding period.
Radja averaged 16.7 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocks over four seasons in Boston. He shot 49.7 percent from the field in his NBA career and helped lead the Celtics back to the playoffs during the 1994-95 season. That Boston team was surprisingly competitive against an Orlando Magic team that would represent the Eastern Conference in the 1995 NBA Finals. Radja’s physical interior style helped erased some long-held beliefs that European players were too soft to play in the NBA. Unfortunately, his body broke down and he played just 66, 53 and 25 games over his final three seasons with the Celtics.
In 1997, Rick Pitino assured Radja that he was going to be a big part of the Boston offense, which assuaged Radja’s worries that he might be traded. Pitino then traded Radja later that summer to the Philadelphia 76ers in exchange for Clarence Weatherspoon and Michael Cage. The trade was voided due to Radja failing a physical due to his chronically injured knee. Boston then waived him following the voided trade. He returned to Europe to close his career with clubs in both Croatia and Greece, ultimately retiring following the 2003 season.
While his NBA career was short, Radja enjoyed considerable success both in European leagues and with the Yugoslavian and Croatian National Teams. He was a part of the Silver Medal winning Yugoslavian National Team at the 1988 Olympics. Radja then helped lead Croatia to a Silver Medal in the 1992 Olympics, in their first major competition as an independent country. He was named one of FIBA’s 50 Greatest Players in 1991 and in 2008 was named one of the 50 Greatest EuroLeague Contributors.
Scott played for the Celtics from 1975-76 until he was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers during the 1977-78 season. Scott was part of Boston’s 1976 championship team.
He averaged 17.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.4 assist per game over 156 regular season games with the Celtics. During the playoff run to the 1976 title, Scott scored 15.4 points per game.
Scott was originally drafted by Boston out of the University of North Carolina in 1970, but he had already signed a contract to play with the Virginia Squires of the ABA. The Celtics then traded his draft rights to the Phoenix Suns in 1972, where he became a three-time NBA All-Star. Boston then re-acquired him in a trade prior to the 1975-76 season. He closed his career playing for the Lakers and the Denver Nuggets, before retiring following the 1980 season.
In addition to his career as a player, Scott is known for being the first African American basketball player at the University of North Carolina, where he was a two-time All-America selection. He was also the first African American to join a fraternity at the University of North Carolina. In addition, he helped lead Team USA to a Gold Medal at the 1968 Olympics. Scott is also known as a legend of Rucker Park, the famed New York City playground where many future NBA players honed their skills.
Allen, Radja and Scott will be enshrined in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday, September 7th, 2018. They join a loaded 13-person class that includes Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, Grant Hill, Maurice Cheeks, Tina Thompson, Charles “Lefty” Driesell, Rick Welts, Rod Thorn, Katie Smith and Ora Mae Washington.