Cedric Maxwell - Celtics Legend

Cedric Maxwell - #31 - Boston Celtics

Forward | 6'8" | 217 lbs. | Born: November 21, 1955

  • NBA Finals MVP (1981)
  • No. 31 jersey retired by Celtics
  • Two-time NBA champion
  • Owns Celtics single-season field goal percentage record (60.9 percent)

Selected by Boston with the 12th overall selection in the 1977 NBA Draft.

Cedric Maxwell

Cedric Maxwell - Biography

#31

Born and raised in North Carolina, Cedric Maxwell stuck to his home roots by choosing to attend UNC Charlotte for his collegiate basketball career. His success as a 49er, however, would lead to a drastic change of scenery once his professional career began.

Maxwell joined a fledgling UNC Charlotte program and took it nearly to the top of NCAA basketball in his four collegiate seasons. The 49ers had never won more than 15 games in a season prior to Maxwell’s arrival; they lost a total of only 18 games during his four-year career. Charlotte won at least 22 games in each of those seasons, capped by a run to the Final Four during Maxwell’s senior year. He averaged at least 20.0 PPG and 12.1 RPG in each of his final two seasons at Charlotte.

Despite his distinguished collegiate career, Maxwell slipped in the first round of the NBA Draft and was snagged up by the Celtics with the 12th overall pick in 1977. Although he struggled during his first year nearly 1,000 miles away from home, Maxwell exploded onto the scene during his second NBA season with career-high averages of 19.0 PPG and 9.9 RPG as a reserve. Following that campaign, Boston inserted him into its starting lineup for his next six seasons with the team.

The Celtics, like Maxwell, did not have their best seasons in the late-70s, but with Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish joining the organization in the early 80s, Boston’s success rate spiked.

By 1981, Maxwell and his teammates had already taken the most storied franchise in basketball history back to the top. The Celtics, led by an MVP performance by Maxwell in the series, defeated the Houston Rockets in six games of the NBA Finals to bring a 14th World Championship home to Boston. Maxwell averaged a team-high 17.7 PPG to go along with 9.5 RPG during the six-game series.

Three short years later, Maxwell and the Celtics were on the top of the league yet again with another championship in 1984. That title was even sweeter to the Celtics, as they defeated the rival Los Angeles Lakers in seven games. Maxwell’s statistics were nowhere near those of his 1981 Finals MVP performance, but he still made enormous contributions with his 13.0 PPG and 5.6 RPG. His 28-point, eight-rebound, eight-assist outburst in Game 7 pushed Boston over the top.

Maxwell’s statistics diminished year-by-year after his stellar season in 1978-79, but he still left a lasting impact on Boston’s organization. Maxwell’s lasting impact with the C’s was felt so much, in fact, that the team retired his No. 31 jersey on Dec. 15, 2003. UNC Charlotte gave him the same honor in 1977 when the school retired his No. 33 jersey. He also has held the Celtics' franchise record for field goal percentage in a season, at 60.9 percent, since 1979-80.

The Celtics made the difficult decision of trading Maxwell, along with a first-round draft choice, to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sept. 6, 1985 in exchange for Bill Walton. Though his playing days with Boston ended with that trade, his career with the organization certainly didn’t. Maxwell returned to the Celtics family in 1995-96 when he was brought on board to be the radio color commentator for Celtics games. He continues to serve in that role to this day, with WEEI, while also making appearances with the organization as a Celtics Legend.

CEDRIC MAXWELL

Height: 6'8" Weight: 217 LBS Birth: 11/21/55 College: UNC CHARLOTTE '77
First round draft choice (the 12th pick overall) in 1977... traded with a 1986 first round draft choice and cash to the Los Angeles Clippers for Bill Walton on September 6, 1985.

Regular Season Record
Year G MIN FGM FGA PCT FTM FTA PCT OFF DEF TOT AST PF-DQ ST BL PTS AVG
77-78 72 1213 170 316 .538 188 250 .752 138 241 379 68 151-2 53 48 528 7.3
78-79 80 2969 472 808 .584 574 716 .802 272 519 791 228 266-4 98 74 1518 19.0
79-80 80 2744 457 750 .609 436 554 .787 284 420 704 199 266-6 76 61 1350 16.9
80-81 81 2730 441 750 .588 352 450 .782 222 303 525 219 256-5 79 68 1234 15.2
81-82 78 2590 397 724 .548 357 478 .747 218 281 499 183 263-6 79 49 1151 14.8
82-83 79 2252 331 663 .499 280 345 .812 185 237 422 186 202-3 65 39 942 11.9
83-84 80 2502 317 596 .532 320 425 .753 201 260 461 205 224-4 63 24 955 11.9
84-85 57 1495 201 377 .533 231 278 .831 98 144 242 102 140-2 36 15 633 11.1
TOTALS 607 18495 2786 4984 .559 2738 3496 .783 1618 2405 4023 1390 1768-32 549 378 8311 13.7
Three-Point Field Goals: 1980-81, 0-for-1 (.000); 1981-82, 0-for-3 (.000); 1982-83, 0-for-1 (.000); 1983-84, 1-for-6 (.167); 1984-85, 0-for-2 (.000). Totals: 1-for-13 (.077).
Playoff Record
79-80 9 320 59 93 .634 46 61 .754 31 59 90 19 25-0 5 10 164 18.2
80-81 17 598 101 174 .580 72 88 .818 61 64 125 46 53-0 12 16 274 16.1
81-82 12 385 62 120 .517 50 70 .714 37 50 87 26 40-0 18 11 174 14.5
82-83 7 246 29 55 .527 32 38 .842 23 28 51 23 18-0 4 4 90 12.9
83-84 23 752 84 167 .503 106 136 .779 52 67 119 55 77-1 22 7 274 11.9
84-85 20 238 21 43 .488 34 43 .791 17 30 47 7 29-0 9 2 76 3.8
TOTALS 88 2539 356 652 .546 340 436 .780 221 298 519 176 242-1 70 50 1052 11.9
Three-Point Field Goals: 1983-84, 0-for-1 (.000).