As he arrived at Thursday's Hall of Fame banquet, Cedric Maxwell could not help but reflect on his most unlikely stardom:
"I don't think you could write that kind of script," Maxwell explained. "A little like a guy right down the road in eastern North Carolina, Michael Jordan, except it turned out a lot bigger for him."
But Max's career surpassed his fondest dreams. He would end up running the parquet floor with Larry Bird and helping the Celtics win two championships:
"To be in Kinston and make the team as a senior that I had not made," Maxwell elaborated, "Then have success at UNC-Charlotte with the NIT and Final Four and go on to Boston and win the MVP of the championship series, there's no better ending I could think of. My career was wonderful with an exclamation point."
Teammates in college and the pros called him "Cornbread." Thursday, Cornbread brought a momento from his Celtic championships:
"I'm giving this ring from the Celtic championships," Maxwell explained. "I have two rings. One of them doesn't fit. So I'm giving it to the North Carolina Hall of Fame."
The ring will be on display in the NC Sports Hall of Fame, symbolizing Cedric Maxwell's sudden success-- a young man cut from his high school team who won the pro game's biggest prize.