PTRW #926 JOHN HAVLICEK

“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.

Hondo

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

REMARKABLE!

The following season he played in every game and logged 45.1 minutes per game.

AMAZING!

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.

LOL.

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.

PTRW #876 TAYSHAUN PRINCE

“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.”

PTRW #824 MARCUS SMART

From Kelly Olynk:

“He just changes the pace of the game, especially on defense. He’s up on people, making plays on the defensive end, whether it’s steals, a couple of charges, or just making it tough, wearing guys down.”

Evan Turner:

“His defense. His tenacity. You can tell a lot of other guards don’t like going up against him, for the most part. Once they feel his strength and stuff, they look back and kind of say, ‘This kid’s for real.’”

Marcus himself:

“I eat and sleep basketball and it was taken away from me for a while and it felt good to finally be back with these guys and make an impact tonight.”

PTRW #818 BRAD STEVENS

“I had a great line given to me very early on in coaching, and that is, ‘My door is always open to talk about playing time. If you want to talk about playing time, be prepared for the truth. So the truth can be hard but also when you’re talking about playing time, you have to be pretty direct.”