“We have a professional way about us in regards to getting better at our craft. And I think that kind of wears off on everybody else. Eventually, it’s either you get with it or get lost if you’re not that type of player that wants to keep getting better day-in and day-out. I don’t see many people on this team taking days off.”
I’m always ready to play and I know it’s my job to always stay ready. I want to be out there 35 minutes per night, but we’ve got a deep team and some nights my name is going to be called less than others, so I just try to stay positive and help my teammates every which way I can. And be ready when my number is called.
Defense doesn’t really show up in the stat sheet, so obviously people that don’t know the game don’t see stuff like that. They don’t really care about it. They want to see the ball go in the basket, that’s about it. It’s obviously something I take pride in and I’m happy that the Celtics notice that.
I take pride in defense. Of course you’re going to get beat, you’re going to get dunked on, you’re going to get scored on. But it’s all in how you respond to that. The players in this league are incredibly talented, everybody, so just try to make it as hard for the other guys to score as possible.
“I’m not here to make it a rivalry between me, Amir (Johnson), Tyler (Zeller), Kelly (Olynyk), Jonas (Jerebko) or D-Lee. My biggest thing is I just want us to win. If that’s me cutting back my minutes, that’s me cutting back my minutes, but the ultimate goal is to win basketball games. That’s the ultimate goal as a team, as a unit. Going forward, it’s a long season. You never know what’s going to happen, so you’ve just got to stay ready.
“There ain’t no added focus. Like I said, I’m not here to make it a rivalry. It’s just when my number’s called, I’ve got to be ready to play and just do what I’ve been doing the past three years.”
“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.
”We have an opportunity to compete and when you have an opportunity to compete, you compete as well as you can.”
“We practiced about two miles from my house in Boston. In training camp I’d run back and forth between the two places just to get my run in.”
Taken form an outstanding article on running via Larry Bird.
“The one bad habit that we have to stop is, when guys miss shots, their energy just goes so flat. And you know me. The teams that I’ve played on in my career, when we missed shots, it was the total opposite. Our defensive energy picked up twice as much. We’ve definitely got some guys with some fight, but the most important thing is we need to see that fight from the beginning. Resilience is something that these guys do have. They don’t care who they’re playing against or where it’s at, they want to play. The thing is playing the right way.
“The No. 1 factor I would say is that we have to understand and learn how to play for 48 minutes the right way, and that’s providing energy on both ends whether you’re missing or making shots.”