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 - Biography
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.
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.
|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).|
|Three-Point Field Goals: 1983-84, 0-for-1 (.000).|