NBA: Why didn't Red Auerbach break up Boston's Big Three via trade when he had the chance?
The old trade rumors were that Larry Bird was supposed to go to his hometown Indiana Pacers in exchange for Chuck Person, Herb Williams and the contract of recently retired Steve Stipanovich at the conclusion of the '87-'88 NBA season, which would've helped benefit Chuck Person since he would've been a great scorer on a great team after having been given the stigma of a guy who is only a great scoring machine when he played for the horrific 1980s pre-Reggie Miller Pacers teams. Herb Williams could've also avoided being an eternal backup to Patrick Ewing for much of the 1990s as a result.
And another trade rumor was that in '88-'89, Kevin McHale was originally intended to get shipped out of Boston to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Sam Perkins and Detlef Schrempf. Given that Perkins was a F-C who found his niche as a Stretch Four type of big man who shot three pointers, he would've been a better choice to be a better backup to Robert Parish than the useless Joe Kleine.
Those trade would've meant that Robert Parish would be the last remaining member of the Bird/McHale/Parish Big Three still around while Bird returns to his hometown of Indiana, and McHale goes down the Deep South territory.
But even then, there was a trade rumor that would've sent Robert Parish and Brian Shaw to the Seattle SuperSonics just prior to '90-'91 in exchange for Michael Cage and Xavier McDaniel, meaning that Boston could've had X-Man in his prime than when he really finally got to Boston in 1992.
Thus Boston would've avoided being a poorly run team if they had Dennis Johnson, Dee Brown, John Bagley, Reggie Lewis, Kevin Gamble, Ed Pinckney, Xavier McDaniel, Rick Fox, Chuck Person, Detlef Schrempf, Michael Cage, Len Bias and Herb Williams as the team's nucleus of future stars without Red Auerbach being blinded by nostalgia goggles to keep Bird, McHale and Parish around in Boston until two-thirds of the Big Three broke down....
........and Parish eventually left Boston as a free agent to go play in Charlotte and Chicago.
But no, Auerbach's stubbornness in refusing to trade Bird, McHale and Parish while all were still healthy and effective ultimately cost Boston big time in the 1990s where they have had to become a former glorious franchise now filled with tragedy and turmoil among them post-Bird era.