Robert Parish (born on August 30, 1953 in Shreveport, Louisiana), is an American former basketball center. His nickname was "The Chief", after the mute Native American in the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. According to legend, former Celtics forward Cedric Maxwell gave Parish this nickname because of his stoic nature.
After a discreet career at Centenary College of Louisiana, Parish was drafted in the first round of the 1976 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors, before being sent to the Boston Celtics, where he played his best years. He compared his transition from Golden State to Boston in a televised quote where he jokingly said it was like going from an outhouse to a penthouse. Playing 14 years with the Celtics from 1980 to 1994, he won three NBA titles (1981, 1984 and 1986) teaming with legendary small forward Larry Bird, and, from 1983 to 1992 with Kevin McHale. The trio is regarded by many as the best frontcourt in NBA history.
He played two more seasons with the Charlotte Hornets and then played his final season with the Chicago Bulls in 1997, which led to his fourth NBA title. At 43, he is the oldest player to ever play an NBA game, and as of 2006 his 1,611 games played over 21 seasons are unmatched.
He was known as a versatile center, using his impressive (7ft Â½in/2.15 m) size in defense to contain opposing players, while being able to launch precise shots from outside the paint and to finish fast breaks thanks to his speed, which was uncanny for a man of his stature.
His trademark was his curious jump shot, which traversed a very high arc before falling.
In honor of his achievements, the Celtics retired Parish's double-zero jersey number in 1998. He was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.