Long Range Success
Scott Wedman receives one of his two championship rings from Commisioner David Stern.
Photo By Steve Lipofsky
2002 could have been The Year of Scott Wedman.
With this season’s edition of the Celtics going down as one of the top three-point shooting teams of all-time, Wedman would have fit in well.
A classic jump shooter, he performed the role of long-range assassin so well from 1983 to 1987 that he earned the nickname “Shotty Wedman” from Celtics teammates. During the 1984-85 season, he canned 11 consecutive three-pointers, which still stands as the third most in NBA history.
But when Wedman played for the Celtics, the role of the three-point shot in the game of basketball was still evolving. Consider this: In 1985-86, the Celtics collectively attempted 393 three-pointers; in 2002 they made 671.
“The first year of the three-point shot, I think I only hit five or so of them, and I was considered an outside shooter!”, chuckled Wedman. “Of course, we started increasing the number we took, but not quite to the level they do today. I like it, though. It is not an easy shot and I think it makes the game exciting.”
Wedman first played for the Kansas City Kings from 1974 through 1981, in which time he twice averaged as many as 19 points per game and was a two-time All-Star. After a brief stay in Cleveland, he was traded to Boston in January 1983 for Darren Tillis, a first-round pick and cash.
When Wedman retired as a Celtic in 1987, he left Boston with two championship rings as well as the experience of being a cog in one of the greatest teams ever assembled. While he toyed with the idea of following many of his former Celtic teammates into the coaching profession, he soon realized he had his fill of travelling across country as a player.
Now a resident of Missouri, Wedman continued a venture he first began as a player 25 years ago - his real estate company. In addition to managing and owning property, he has also joined a long-time friend in restoring classic and specialty automobiles.
“I thought about (coaching),” said Wedman. “If Kansas City still had a team, I would have stayed involved. But after 13 years of traveling, I thought it would be best if I stayed at home. I do not have the most exciting life, I guess. But I am very happy.”
Married to his wife, Kim, of 26 years, Wedman has never been able to ride himself of basketball completely. He still runs shooting camps for young players during the summer months, and did some college scouting a few years back. Mike D’Antoni, former Head Coach of the Nuggets, asked Wedman to look at some of the players in the mid-west area – especially ones that Denver might be interested in taking with their first pick in the 1998 Draft – the second overall selection.
“He asked me to scout some local college games as they were preparing for the NBA Draft, which included some games in which I saw Kansas." said Wedman. "Well, Denver ended up taking Raef Lafrentz. But I told him that Paul Pierce was one of the best players in the draft. He had a lot of maturity for a college player. He may score 20 one night, and only get four the next night, but those four might be the last four of the ball game. I really liked his attitude.”
The old Celtics always have had an eye for talent, haven’t they?
This article first appeared in the April issue of Celtics Insider, the official magazine of the Boston Celtics.