Jordan, Russell, Kareem, Magic, Bird, Kobe and LeBron. These are the names you immediately think of whenever you hear the term All-Star. All of those players mentioned made at least 10 All-Star teams during their illustrious careers.
There are a few factors that go into being an NBA All-Star. Putting up big stats, being a team leader and giving the team a good chance to win every single night.
Throughout NBA history, there have been very productive players that never made an All-Star team. Richard Jefferson, Jason Terry and Mike Bibby just to name a few. However, one player stands above the rest and that is former Boston Celtics great Cedric Maxwell.
With NBA All-Star weekend quickly approaching in Los Angeles, I will be talking about how Cedric Maxwell is the biggest All-Star snub in NBA history.
By the time Cedric Maxwell retired from the game of basketball, he was never selected to an All-Star team. What Maxwell was however is a definitive example of a role player, a proven winner and a prime example of being efficient on the court.
When his career was over and done, Maxwell was the all time leader in true shooting percentage and had all the talent in the world to be an All-Star caliber player. However when you look at some of the teammates Maxwell played with, it would be rather difficult to make the All-Star team when you are playing with guys such as Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish.
Although he averaged 19 points per game in his second year in the league, he decided to let Larry Bird and Danny Ainge worry about shooting the ball from three point range and letting the offense come to him.
Much like other great role players such as Robert Horry and Derek Fisher, Maxwell made a name for himself for being clutch for his team when big games were on the line. Which is why he was named the MVP of the 1981 NBA Finals for his contributions against the Houston Rockets.
In the 1981 NBA Finals, Maxwell lead the Celtics in points per game with 17.7 while also averaging nearly 10 rebounds per game and playing outstanding defense. After that series came to an end, nobody could really blame Maxwell if he wanted to take on a bigger role on a different team. This was especially true because his role as a forward would later be subsided with the rise of Bird, McHale and Parish.
Then again Cedric Maxwell was not going to be that type of player who wanted all the attention to himself. All he wanted to do was win. In his final two years with the Celtics (‘84 and ‘85) they would do just that. He helped the Boston Celtics reach two straight NBA Finals.
Looking distinctively at the 1984 NBA Finals (which the Celtics won), it was Cedric Maxwell much like in the ‘81 Finals who stepped up when his team needed him the most. He vowed to put the team on his back, especially in Game 7 when he scored 24 points on only ten shots in a nine point Celtics championship victory over the rival Los Angeles Lakers.
After his days with the Celtics, Maxwell had stints with the Los Angeles Clippers and ironically enough the Houston Rockets.
At the end of the day, Cedric Maxwell was never an NBA All-Star but he is one of the greatest role players in the history of the league. So great in fact that in 2003, the Celtics retired the number 30 he wore for his tremendous contributions on two championship teams.
Nowadays, you can find Cedric Maxwell doing color commentary for Celtics games on the radio in Boston and he currently lives in Weston, Massachusetts.