Robert Parish was notably absent at a Boston Celtics reunion held recently, which included such attendees as Kevin McHale (#15 FCIL), Bill Walton (#6 BEIR), Jerry Sichting (#6 BEIR), Sam Vincent (#13 FCIR), Danny Ainge (#5 FEIR), and Greg Kite (#7 FEIL). Why? I just didn’t want to travel,” says the 62 year-old ‘Chief.’ “It didn’t motivate me to attend … the answer I gave you implies that I didn’t think it was important enough to show up, that’s not what I’m trying to convey. I’m just saying that that time has passed for me. I don’t dwell on the past and I’ve been honored and appreciated and I still get love for not only what myself but my teammates accomplished. I just didn’t feel like [the reunion] was that big of a deal, that’s all.”
Parish, a very low-key #2 BEAR, went on to say, I have never been one to seek or want attention or admiration or a pat on the back for what I’ve done. I did my job. I got paid for doing my job. That was enough for me. That’s one of the reasons I was able to accept a lesser role on those teams in the 80s. I didn’t have a huge ego.
Indeed he didn’t. Those who remember Parish will recall his stoic face on the court that rarely revealed emotion. He was a quiet, humble player who did not mind deferring the fame and glory to his fellow Celtics, including (the now deceased) Dennis Johnson (#2 BEAR) and Ainge, who he says wanted to “expanded roles with the Celtics as the 80s progressed.” Parish, instead, took a back-seat, and volunteered to reduce his role. I did that because my ego wasn’t as big as Kevin’s and Larry’s. I’ve never been a person that was concerned about accolades or the media embracing me. I was all about winning and losing, and we did more winning than losing. It was a successful formula with me accepting a lesser role. I always wondered, what if I said there is no way I’m accepting a lesser role, what would that have done to our team chemistry?”
And while Parish says he is not good friends with Bird or McHale, he admits it is largely due to his personality. I’d be the first to say that I’m a distant individual. I have a tendency to come across as being aloof and dismissive. I think the best way to describe me is that I’m a loner. I prefer to be by myself.
Readers may have noticed Dennis Johnson’s Brain Type above, and are thinking, “What? The same as Parish?” He is indeed, and could be considered a #2 more comparable to Kobe Bryant in terms of energy and personality. Indeed, the personality spectrum among the #2 BEAR can be quite vast (while Q4s are the most consistently similar among the four quadrants). In the end, while saying he personally believes he is one of the best centers to play the game, Parish would rather the critics think less of him than more. “I’d rather be underrated than overrated. If I am underrated, I’m all for that.
Written by: Staff
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