Originally posted on Red's Army  |  Last updated 11/8/12
If you enjoyed 80s basketball, you’ll enjoy reading Grantland’s oral history on the Houston Rockets: The Greatest Team that Never Was.  Here’s something I didn’t know; Red Auerbach wanted Ralph Sampson to leave college early for the Celtics. Had Sampson obliged, Robert Parish and Kevin McHale might never have worn green. After Sampson averaged 14.9 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 4.6 blocks his freshman season, Boston Celtics patriarch Red Auerbach tried to convince him to enter the 1980 NBA draft. The Celtics, a 61-win team in the previous season, featured a transcendent rookie forward named Larry Bird and owned the first overall pick. Sampson remembers it well. “Auerbach came to my house and said, ‘You can come and play for the mighty Boston Celtics.’ I gave it a thought. Ralph Sampson coming to Boston — there might not have been a Kevin McHale there or Robert Parish.” When Sampson stunned basketball by staying in school, Auerbach traded that pick and the 13th selection to Golden State for
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