Cedric Maxwell won two championships during his time as a player with the Boston Celtics. He played a major role in both of these titles.
In 1981, he was named the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player. In 1984, he asked his teammates to jump on his back before Game Seven of the ’84 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. Maxwell helped secure Boston’s title by leading the team in scoring in that crucial game.
Maxwell won two rings during his eight seasons with the Celtics. He no longer has his 1984 championship ring and said parting with him was not that difficult.
Cedric Maxwell was the star of the Boston Celtics before the Stars arrived
The Celtics selected Maxwell with the 12th pick in the 1977 NBA draft. The 6-foot-8 UNC forward did not disappoint Charlotte.
After playing just 16.8 minutes per game as a rookie, Maxwell blossomed into his second professional season. He more than doubled his scoring minutes (37.1), and averaged 19.0 points and 9.9 rebounds in the 1978-79 season.
The following year, Larry Bird entered the league and stole the spotlight. He was named Rookie of the Year with the Celtics winning 61 games, up from 29 the previous season. Even with Bird in the mix, Maxwell still posted 16.9 points and 8.8 rebounds.
In 1980, the Celtics were the best in the draft. They swung one of the biggest trades in team history when they combined that No. 1 pick with the No. 13 pick and sent them to the Golden State Warriors. In contrast, the Celtics received center Robert Parish and the third overall pick. With that third pick, they selected Kevin McHale, making up the Big Three frontcourt of Byrd, McHale, and Parish, three future Hall of Famers.
Maxwell still found a way to shine through all the other stars on the team, shining in the 81 Finals. His 24-point, eight-rebound effort in Game 7 of the 1984 Finals was key to securing Boston’s second championship of the decade.
Maxwell no longer has his 1984 championship ring, and he’s fine with it
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Maxwell may be the most underrated player on the Celtics in the ’80s. Bird, McHale, and Parish got most of the credit, but Maxwell was always big when he counted the most. Although he played an important role in both of his tournaments, he no longer has his ring from the 1984 title.
Maxwell donated the ring to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. He admitted that it wasn’t too hard to see him leave his finger.
During an interview with Michael D. McClellan of Celtic Nation, McClellan said he had heard of Maxwell leaving one of his rings. Which one it was and how hard it was to leave him, Maxwell asked.
“It was a 1984 ring, and it wasn’t really hard to give it away,” Maxwell said. “From a purely practical point of view, it wasn’t difficult because I don’t wear jewelry.
“Championship rings are so big and flashy that I never felt comfortable with them. On another level, a ring wasn’t the most important thing to me. You can always lose a ring, but you can’t lose a championship.”
“It was all about the camaraderie I shared with my teammates and the excitement of knowing we were the best in the world. All of these things are bigger than the paddock.”