The Boston Celtics were set to draft Tony Parker in the 2001 NBA Draft until Red Auerbach overruled brand-new general manager Chris Wallace.
Auerbach was 84 at the time and remained president and vice chairman. Auerbach insisted the Celtics instead select Joe Forte at No. 21, several league executives confirmed recently.
Auerbach was skeptical of European point guards and he also had scouted Forte dating back to high school at DeMatha Catholic in Maryland.
The San Antonio Spurs knew Parker had a good workout for the Celtics and they feared Boston might select him with one of their three picks in the top-21. San Antonio selected Parker with the 28th overall pick.