Robert Parish Biography

Robert Parish, also known as “The Chief,” is a legendary American former basketball player who made a lasting impact on the National Basketball Association (NBA). Standing at an impressive 7 feet tall, Parish’s record-breaking career includes playing more games than any other player in NBA history. Known for his exceptional defense, agility, and endurance, Parish was a key player in the Boston Celtics’ three NBA championship victories. Alongside Larry Bird and Kevin McHale, he formed one of the most formidable frontlines in NBA history. After retiring at the age of 43, Parish was rightfully honored with a place in the prestigious Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Robert Lee Parish
  • Age: 70 Years, 70 Year Old Males
  • Family: father: Robert Parish Sr., mother: Ada Parish
  • Basketball Players
  • American Men
  • Height: 7’1″ (216 cm), 7’1″ Males
  • Notable Alumni: Centenary College Of Louisiana
  • U.S. State: Louisiana
  • City: Shreveport, Louisiana
  • More Facts
  • Education: Centenary College of Louisiana

Childhood & Early Life

Robert Parish was born on August 30, 1953, in Shreveport, Louisiana to Robert Sr. and Ada Parish. He attended Union High School before transferring to Woodlawn High School when Union High School closed down. Parish later graduated from Centenary College. At the age of 6 feet 6 inches, Parish was noticed by coach Coleman Kid, who encouraged him to play basketball. He started wearing a jersey with the numerals “00” that he had acquired in junior high school.


Parish played for Team USA at the 1975 Pan American Games, where the team won a gold medal. He was drafted by the Utah Stars in 1973 for the ABA Special Circumstances and later drafted by the Spurs in the ABA Draft in 1975. Parish played for the Golden State Warriors from 1976 to the 1980s, but the team’s performance declined during his time there. In the 1980 NBA Draft, Parish was drafted by the Boston Celtics, which he welcomed wholeheartedly as he could finally play a team game. Parish’s career reached its peak with the Celtics, where he became the all-time leader in various categories such as blocked shots, offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, and total rebounds. He played 14 seasons and 1,106 games with the Celtics. Parish also played for the Charlotte Hornets and the Chicago Bulls before retiring in 1997.

Major Works

Parish played for the Celtics for 14 years and formed one of the most formidable frontlines in NBA history with Kevin McHale and Larry Bird. Together, they were known as “The Big Three” and were recognized in the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-time Team.

Awards & Achievements

During his career, Parish played in the NBA All-Star games nine times. He won three NBA Championships with the Celtics and one with the Chicago Bulls. Parish holds the NBA record for playing the most number of games with 1,611. He has been inducted into various sports halls of fame, including the Louisiana Basketball Hall of Fame, Centenary College Athletics Hall of Fame, Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, and College Basketball Hall of Fame.

Family & Personal Life

Parish has a keen interest in martial arts and yoga, which contributed to his agility and endurance on the court. He follows a vegetarian diet to stay fit and healthy. Parish was previously married to Nancy Saad, but they separated in 1990. Saad later accused Parish of physically abusing her.


Parish was nicknamed “The Chief” by his Celtics teammate Cedric Maxwell, inspired by the character Chief Bromden from the movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” The nickname reflected Parish’s stoicism.

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