Courtside stories: How adopted kids helped ex-NBA center to play in playoffs


greg-kite-nbaBy Robert Mint

This truly has to be one of the most touching stories of the NBA, and it involves former NBA center Greg Kite, who was never a star, and not even good by most NBA standards.

In 1995, when Kite was playing his last NBA season, he was with the Indiana Pacers, who advanced to the playoffs, and were playing the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals.

It’s game 5 of the series, and prior to the game, Pacers’ head coach Larry Brown received a touching letter, asking him to do something he just couldn’t refuse…

As NBA commentator Jim Gray said, Greg Kite had 8 adopted children. Three of those kids went along with their dad to Orlando for game 5. Knowing that daddy isn’t much of a player, those three adopted kids sent a letter to Larry Brown, which basically said this: “please put our dad in the game!”.

As a result, Kite played 9 minutes in G5, scored 4 points, grabbed 3 offensive rebounds and wasted 4 fouls. In G6, Kite again got playing time, logging 3 minutes, and grabbing one rebound.

The Pacers eventually lost to the Magic in seven games, but those adopted kids will probably forever remember how Larry Brown put their dad in important playoff games.

Kite didn’t have talent, but played hard on every practice when he was with the Celtics. This was confirmed by Larry Bird himself, who said once: “If he took his frustration out in a game they [sic] way he does in practice, he’d kill someone. I just get out of his way. Truth is, Greg don’t have a lot of talent.”

Kite wasn’t a scorer, but he did provide Boston Celtics with needed energy when he was with the team. To read more on how Kite contained Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and blocked Magic Johnson when Celtics played the Lakers, go here.

In July 2014, Kite was one of the former NBA players, who hosted a youth basketball and life skills clinic in Orlando at Avalon Park Middle School, according to NBRPA.

Kite played in 12 NBA seasons, for Boston Celtics, LA Clippers, Charlotte Hornets, Sacramento Kings, Orlando Magic, NY Knicks and Indiana Pacers. He appeared in total of 680 NBA games (started in 225), averaging 2.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg in 14.8 mpg. Kite also won two NBA titles with the Boston Celtics (1984, 1986).


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