The Celtics have been known as a franchise that had many miraculous plays and victories. There were numerous three pointers and steals by Larry Bird. There was a miraculous shot by Don Nelson. As important as the numerous miraculous plays of the Boston Celtics franchise are the numerous tragedies that beset the franchise. These events have caused the decline of the great Celtic dynasties as well as had prevented the rise of new ones. Here are some of the most tragic events in the history of the Celtics franchise.
1) Death of Reggie Lewis - Reggie was a steal of a pick having been selected 22nd overall in the 1989 draft. Though he only averaged 4.5 points as a role player in his rookie year, he quickly developed as an offensive weapon and had averaged 18.5, 17.0, 18.7, 20.8 and 20.8 the next five years. He was on his way to becoming one of the Celtic greats when tragedy struck in July 27, 1993 when he collapsed at a practice due to heart problems.
2) Death of Len Bias - Len was supposed to be a taller version of Michael Jordan. He was the ACC player of the year and would have alleviated the stress placed on aging veterans Larry Bird and Kevin McHale. He was chosen by the Celtics as the 2nd pick of the 1986 draft. He soon died of cocaine overdose. This loss made the Celtics overuse McHale and Bird and has helped shorten their playing careers.
3) Losing the Tim Duncan Lottery - The Celtics has the second worst record at 15-67 and had a good chance of nabbing Tim Duncan. They unfortunately ended up with the third pick and chose Chauncey Billups. The sad part is that they shipped him the same season and he blossomed into a star when he landed in Detroit. In the same draft, the also chose Ron Mercer over Tracy McGrady.