Time for the greatest Boston Celtics of all-time. Last night I was thinking of going from the top 5 guys and expanding the list to 10. What better time to do so. But when I get to the Grizzlies, will that be possible to get 10 greatest of all-time?
Top 10 Boston Celtics of all-time (no particular order so chill the *uck out…)
Bill Russell: One of the greatest center’s of all-time, right? He won 11 championship rings as a player. He also won in college. He was 10-0 in Game 7′s. Explain this one: In 1958 and 1961 he was voted Most Valuable Player but failed to make 1st team all-league? Great defender, great rebounder, great team guy. I once heard him tell Jim Rome, “please don’t introduce me as a Hall of Famer, introduce me as the former captain of the Boston Celtics.” Being the captain of the C’s obviously was more important to Russ than being in the Hall of Fame.
Larry Bird: Where do I start? Just the fact that he is one of the hardest workers of all-time makes me smile. 3 rings, 3 MVP’s. Greatest forward ever in the history of the game. Along with Magic Johnson, he saved the NBA. Could shoot the jumper, pass, rebound and played hard. Dude was diving after loose balls in exhibition games. Once gave me an autograph; did you know he writes left-handed?
John Havlicek: Hondo. Always moving. Mr. Energy. Great defender. Played the right way. I’ll never forget his floating moon-ball shot over the outstretched arms of Lew Alcindor when the C’s played the Bucks. Zero regular season MVP’s but 8 NBA rings. Played in 13 all-star games. Named 1st team all-league four times. Came off the bench often but never complained. Just wanted to help his team win. Out of college was drafted by the Cleveland Browns despite never playing football at OSU.
Bob Cousy: “The Cooz” from Andrew Jackson High School in Queens, New York. Some called him “The Houdini of the Hardwood” One of the first guys to throw a behind the back pass and the ‘no-look’. And to think Red Auerbach wasn’t crazy about him out of college. “I’m supposed to win, not go after local yokels” said Red. 6 rings in Boston. 13 all-star games, 1 MVP. 18 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds per game for career; not too shabby. I found his 1963 paperback, “Basketball is My Life” in an old bookstore for $1; I still have it.
Dave Cowens: I was a Knicks fan growing up in the 70′s but I loved Dave Cowens. He played the right way. Dove on the floor, battled guys 3-4 inches taller and plus he had red hair (yours truly was a red-head). Co-Rookie of the Year in 1971. League MVP two years later. 2 Rings and 7 all-star games. 1 of only 4 players in the history of the league to lead their team in the top stat categories for one season; points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals. Pulled down 13 rebounds per game for his career. Once worked part-time as a cab driver.
Sam Jones: King of the bank shot. Mr. Clutch. Came up with big time shots late in games. Won 10 rings in 12 years and played in 5 all-star games. Never made 1st team all-league. Confidence was his main trait, “Look, I know Chamberlain is going to block some shots on me,” Jones once told The Sporting News. “But I also know he isn’t going to do it enough times a game to make any real difference. If I can get to the spot I like on the floor before the man who is guarding me, I’m going to score.”
Kevin McHale: One of the greatest low post scorers in the history of the game. Had great footwork and up fakes. Good shot blocker, solid defender and decent rebounder. Great sense of humor. Charles Barkley has mentioned McHale was the best player he ever went against. Won 3 rings. 7 all-star games. 3 times all defensive 1st team. Let’s not forget, almost became a New York Knick.
Paul Pierce: “The Truth”. Can’t leave this guy out. He has been in the Green when they were terrible and when they won a ring in 2008. Has scored a ton of points. Won his ring in 2008 while being named Finals MVP. was never crazy about him, especially after reading a quote from him in a book about “getting his numbers”. 8 time NBA all-star. 22 ppg over his career.
Robert Parish: 4th all-time leading scorer in Celtics history, 2nd in games played and 2nd all-time leading rebounder. That’s pretty good, no? He ran the floor hard. Had a nice turn-around jumper. Nicknamed ‘The Chief” after the big fella in ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’. Won 3 rings with the C’s and let’s not forget won one with the Chicago Bulls (but that doesn’t count here). 9 time all-star.
Kevin Garnett: Right away he is eligible to make my team because he has been a Celtic for the required 3 seasons. Has a ring and almost got his second this past June. Could’ve had his second in 2007 if he hadn’t been hurt. Brings heart, soul, and energy to C’s. After Pau Gasol said KG was slowing down during the 2010 finals, Garnett came out and spanked him.
UPDATE 7/7/10: I had a hard time keeping Dennis Johnson off this list.
Apologies to all the Eric Fernsten fans…
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