Robert Parish Biography

Robert Parish is a retired center who played for the Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets and Chicago Bulls. During his 21-year career, he won four NBA titles. He was a nine-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA selection. He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003 and is a member of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.

Early Years

Robert Parish led Woodlawn High School to the 1972 state championship. He was chosen as the Louisiana Player of the Year. After receiving over 400 scholarships offers, he chose Centenary College because he wanted to stay close to home.

College Career

Robert Parish averaged 21.6 points and 16.9 rebounds during his four seasons at Centenary. He led the country in rebounding twice and was named as an All-American as a senior. Centenary went 87-21 and was ranked in the Associated Press Top 20 for 14 weeks.

He was the captain and starting center for the gold-medal winning United States national team at the 1975 Pan American Games.

Professional Career

Golden State Warriors (1976-80)

Robert Parish was the eighth pick in the 1976 NBA draft. He averaged 9.1 points and 7.1 rebounds as a rookie. By his third season, those numbers had increased to 17.2 and 12.1. The Warriors missed the playoffs during Parish's final three seasons on the team and he was traded to the Celtics in June of 1980.

Boston Celtics (1980-94)

Boston's new starting center averaged 18.9 points and 9.5 rebounds in his first season, leading the Celtics to the 1981 NBA title over the Houston Rockets.

The following season, he placed second in the MVP voting after averaging 19.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and he blocked the fifth most shots in the league, but the Celtics lost to the Sixers in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Thanks to his steady play in the middle, he helped the Celtics win the NBA title again in 1984 and in 1986 -- their third championship in six seasons.

Larry Bird retired in 1992, Kevin McHale in 1993 and Parish signed with the Charlotte Hornets as a free agent in 1994, putting an end to Boston's legendary "Big Three".

Charlotte Hornets (1994-96)

Parish was a reserve center with Charlotte, averaging just 4.8 points per game after 17 straight seasons of averaging in double digits.

Chicago Bulls (1996-97)

Parish signed with the Bulls as a free agent in 1996, playing in 43 games, starting in three and earning a fourth championship ring.

He holds the NBA record for most games played with 1,611 (21 seasons). He finished with 23,334 points and 14,715 rebounds.

Post-Playing Career

Parish coached the Maryland Mustangs of the United States Basketball League in 2000. He was chosen as the Coach of the Year.

He currently works with the Celtics in several capacities, helping with marketing and community relations.


Robert Parish was born on October 30, 1953 in Shreveport, Louisiana. He married Nancy Saad, but the two divorced during his career. In a 1995 Sports Illustrated article, Saad accused Parish of pushing her down the stairs when she was pregnant with their son Justin. Parish denied the allegations and no charges were ever filed.