Boston Celtics

May 4, 1983

Two days earlier, the defending NBA champion Celtics were sent home for the summer, swept in a second-round series by the Milwaukee Bucks.

Almost immediately, the finger of blame was leveled directly at head coach Bill Fitch.

After winning the 1981 crown, Fitch’s ego began swelling. By the end of an ignominious 1982-83 campaign, the players had had enough. And there were signs that Red Auerbach had had enough as well.

As veterans, such as center Robert Parish, were over-used and exhausted by playoff time, the Celtics never seriously threatened to successfully defend their crown.

Despite it all, Fitch claimed that he left on his terms, officially resigning on May 27, with three years remaining on his contract. He cited owner Harry Mangurian’s intention to sell the team as his relationship with Garden (and Bruins) owner Delaware North deteriorated.

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