After a Disappointing Start With the Boston Celtics, Scott Wedman Decided To Go Right at Larry Bird
Scott Wedman played a key role for the Boston Celtics during their championship run in the 1980s. Wedman came off the bench to spark the Celtics during their title seasons in 1984 and 1986. Things weren’t always so rosy in Boston for the 6-foot-7 forward, so he decided to go right at Celtics star Larry Bird.
It took some time for Scott Wedman to get situated with the Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics acquired Scott Wedman from the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 1982-1983 season. Boston sent Darren Tillis and a first-round pick for Wedman, who was the sixth overall pick in the 1974 NBA Draft.
Wedman spent the first seven seasons of his NBA career with the Kansas City/Omaha Kings, where he averaged 16.5 points and 6.0 rebounds. He expected to stay with the Kings, but the business side of the NBA got in the way, and he was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“To be honest, I expected to stay in Kansas City my entire career,” Wedman once told Michael D. McClellan of Celtic Nation. “It felt good. I knew the offense, the system, and everything about the situation just fit. But ownership wasn’t looking to spend, and Cleveland was aggressive.”
He played just 89 games with the Cavs before Boston made the deal for him. When he came to Boston, he admitted he didn’t receive the royal treatment from his new teammates.
“The guys didn’t exactly welcome me with open arms, but I can understand their point of view,” Wedman told McClellan in 2018. “No one wants to see his minutes go down, and suddenly another player is thrown into the mix.”
Wedman said his excitement of playing with a talented bunch of guys in Boston quickly turned to disappointment after his first game with the Celtics.
“I was excited to be a part of Boston Celtics, and to be playing with such a talented group of players,” he said. “And then the reality of the situation set in. I didn’t get into the game, and I quickly learned that I was going to spend a lot of time sitting behind Bird. It was very disappointing.”
Wedman decided to take on Bird in practice
Wedman eventually got comfortable in Boston and played a significant role off the bench for the star-studded Celtics. His biggest game came during Game 1 of the 1985 NBA Finals, a game often referred to as the “Memorial Day Massacre.” Wedman had 26 points in 23 minutes as the Celtics crushed the Lakers 148-114.
After that tough first year with the Celtics, Wedman used the summer to make himself a better player. He got bigger and stronger and decided to go right at Larry Bird when training camp opened.
“I used the summer to regroup,” he told McClellan. “I worked with a personal trainer to improve my strength and conditioning, and when training camp opened I went right at Larry. He’d dish it out, and I’d give it right back.
“I wanted to prove that I belonged and that I could fit into a productive role on the team. I became a contributor, and I felt I was a key piece of the puzzle.
“At the same time, Larry began his run as the league’s Most Valuable Player. He was the MVP from 1984 to 1986, and I like to think I had a little to do with that. We had some great battles in practice.”