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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

New England Sports 366, #87: Dominique Wilkins

In 1994, the Boston Celtics signed free-agent and league legend Dominique Wilkins. This was after nine All-Star appearances with the Hawks, after his epic Slam Dunk Contest battles (remember when that was a thing?), after his playoff showdown with Larry Bird.

After his prime, frankly. We got a latter-day ‘Nique, a Human Highlight Reel that had already gone to post-production. He wasn’t the player we had watched as kids, getting to the rim at will and lighting up NBA defenders night after night. He still had the charisma and the old explosiveness could still come out from time to time, it just wasn’t enough to lift a poor Celtics team to the next level. (Paying attention, Tampa Bay?)

Watching Wilkins shamble around the parquet with Sherman Douglas and Dino Radja was like watching Joe Biden campaign for President. The show would have been better ten years before, but it was the best option in town.

Speaking of what might have been, Wilkins was originally drafted by a Utah Jazz team that would add John Stockton and Karl Malone in the next few years. What a team that would have been. Wilkins might even have been able to win a championship without going to Greece to get it.

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