“The guy who wins is the guy who works a little harder, who goes a little longer.” -John Havlicek
John Havlicek is one of the greatest basketball players of all-time…that no one seems to talk about.
It’s a shame he’s not mentioned when people discuss the old school guys.
This guy was incredible.
You know what I always say about basketball players, right?
Would I want to coach that guy and would I want to be his teammate?
Here’s Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell on his teammate:
“A fantastic guy to play with and coach.”
“Hondo” gave everything he had when he played. His stamina was incredible. He was all about energy and playing hard. The guy never stopped moving both on offense and defense. He is the epitome of “moving without the ball.”
One of the greatest athletes ever! Hands down.
Hondo was the Bionic Man before Lee Majors.
The former Ohio State Buckeye won 8 rings with the Boston Celtics. His teams never lost in the finals!
Hondo also won a college championship during his time in Columbus in 1960. It should be noted that the next two years they made it to the finals only to come up on the losing end.
I spoke to a former college basketball player from the Big Ten who played against Havlicek in college.
“Great defender,” the former player said.
Havlicek was voted to the NBA All-Defense Team 8 times in his career.
For the 1971 season Havlicek played in 81 games for the Celtics. His minutes per game average was 45.4
The following season he played in every game and logged 45.1 minutes per game.
Doubt we will ever see that again.
In the 1974 NBA finals vs the Milwaukee Bucks Havlicek was named MVP.
People talk about all the minutes LeBron James played in the finals vs the Warriors last June. How about Hondo in the 1974 finals? He played 289 of a possible 291 minutes in the series. After the series Bill Russell said, “He is the best all-around player I ever saw.” READ THAT AGAIN…He only sat for two minutes.
Havlicek played 16 seasons in Boston. During his last season (1978) he played all 82 games. He was 38 years old. He also played in the all-star game that year. And how about Doug Collins? Collins was to start at guard for the East but since Hondo was his idol, he gave up his starting spot to Hondo.
Here’s a great video of the ovation he received from the Celtics fans. By far the greatest tribute ever.
In high school Havlicek was all-state in basketball, baseball and football. The Cleveland Browns football team thought so much of Havlicek as an athlete they drafted him in the seventh round of the NFL Draft and had him in training camp.