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History Week roundtable: favorite non-star Celtic

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As kids, we loved dunks.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics - Game Five Photo by Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images

Who was your favorite non-star (no All-Star) player growing up and why?

Jack Noonan: Al Jefferson was always one of my favorite players growing up watching the Celtics. His bruising style of play instantly caught my eye when the Celtics drafted him. It was at the same time I played for my school and rec team as a taller, we’ll just say “bulkier,” kid in elementary school. I enjoyed how Big Al forced and bullied his way down low to grab rebounds and get put back buckets on offense. Even after being traded by the Celtics, it had been impressive watching him play as one of the last old school centers in this league. It’s a shame that style is no longer prominent, but we can always be thankful for Al Jefferson as he was one of the main pieces in the Kevin Garnett trade.

Tim MacLean: I’d probably have to go with Gerald Green. His in-game dunks captivated me when I was a kid and I remember keeping my parents up during his dunk contest appearances trying to mimic what he did on my Nerf hoop. I always believed he would turn into a really good player, and though he had his moments, he was ultimately a part of the deal that brought Kevin Garnett to Boston. I’d make that trade 11 out of 10 times, but part of me was still a little disappointed he was going. I’ve followed his career ever since and adamantly believe he was robbed in the 2008 dunk contest. Dwight Howard threw the ball in. It’s a DUNK contest. I’ll take that to my grave.

Greg Brueck-Cassoli: I always loved Delonte West growing up. He wasn’t particularly big or athletic, but he knew how to play the game, and wasn’t afraid of anyone. I never got over the fact that the Celtics prioritized Rajon Rondo’s development over West’s. History proved that to be the right choice, but there is still a (very small) bit of me that wonders if Boston could have won a title with West at the helm of the second Big Three era Celtics.

Simon Pollock: The first Celtic name I ever yelled was Dee Brown—I don’t know why my dad loved him so much, but he became our first household favorite. When I actually started dribbling and shooting on my own, I quickly became a Dana Barros fan and spent way too much time as a Sunday YMCA gym rat, trying to can threes before I was even strong enough to shoot from behind the arc. And of course, my favorite non-star every is Walter McCarty. Why? Because I. LOVE. WAHLTAH.

Greg Dudek: For some reason I always rooted harder for Ryan Gomes in his short, two-year tenure as a Celtic. He went to college in the region at Providence College and always felt he was under appreciated. He didn’t have the greatest skill, but just found ways to get the job done. Probably wasn’t in the greatest situation having to start on those dreadful mid-2000’s Boston teams, but always thought he would be a valuable asset to a championship-caliber team. The C’s traded him to Minnesota in the KG deal and won a title. He definitely could have helped in that process.

Jeff Clark: I was going to say Danny Ainge but then I noticed that he was an All Star once. Man, those 80’s teams were stacked. So I’m going to go with Dee Brown. He was young and fast and seemed exciting and more fitting with the modern NBA at the time. I mean, he won the Dunk Contest. A Celtic! Mind. Blown.

Jeremy Stevens: As a child I basically had a one-track caveman brain, and all I cared about what seeing who could do the flashiest things in games. Vince Carter’s absurd in-game dunks drew my attention to basketball, and the closest thing the Celtics had to that at the time was... Ricky Davis. So, I was basically a Ricky Davis superfan as soon as I saw him throw down a between-the-legs dunk in a game, which is objectively the coolest thing you could possibly do. And as time passes, I realize even more how disrespectful and unnecessary it is, which only makes me grow fonder of the early-2000’s Celtics.

Keith Smith: My guy was Sherman Douglas. That tear-drop floater of his seemed like it always went in! I’ll never forget when that ragtag 1995 team took a game off the juggernaut Orlando Magic in the first round. In Orlando no less! Sherm was a huge part of that, as he had 20 points and 15 assists. Two games later, the Boston Garden closed forever, but man did Sherman Douglas put up a fight!