The Boston Celtics are one of the NBA’s most storied franchises, having been a part of several dynasties throughout their history. With the team surging again, we take a look at the 10 best players to don a Boston uniform:
10. Jo Jo White
White was a skilled passer and scorer, and he was one of the main contributors to two championship Celtics squads. White, a seven-time All-Star, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015.
9. Robert Parish
Parish spent some 21 seasons in the NBA, 14 coming with the Celtics. He offered longevity and three titles with the Celtics (four overall). Parish shot an outstanding 53.7 percent from the field and regularly averaged 20 PPG and 10 RPG during his best years.
8. Sam Jones
Sam Jones was a role player, but an excellent one at that. He was a member of 10 championship teams and served as the wingman to Bill Russell in Boston’s early years. Jones was a career 17.7 PPG scorer and he went to five All-Star Games.
7. Paul Pierce
A more recent Celtics legend, Pierce won one title for Boston–but he spent his best years in green and white. Pierce spent 15 seasons with the Celtics, making him one of the longest tenured members of the organization. His knack for clutch shooting earned him the 2008 NBA Finals MVP, and he helped bring greatness back to a proud franchise.
6. Bob Cousy
From 1953-1960, Cousy led the NBA in assists. He became one of the league’s first great point guards, and his success didn’t stop there. Cousy won six NBA championships with the Celtics and also organized the National Basketball Players Association in 1954.
5. Kevin McHale
A winner of three NBA titles, McHale took on the role of grit-and-hustle guy from Dave Cowens. At 6-foot-10, McHale won the Sixth Man of the Year Award twice, and he really redefined the role. A dominant interior scorer and defensive player, McHale is a Celtics’ great. His No. 32 jersey was retired by the team.
4. Dave Cowens
Cowens won two NBA championships and also an MVP. Furthermore, his grit and hustle made him a fan favorite, which says a lot for a franchise with this much history. He was also the 1971 Rookie of the Year, and his No. 18 jersey hangs in the Boston rafters.
3. John Havlicek
Havlicek won eight NBA championships and went to the All-Star Game 13 times. He was also part of one of the more memorable calls during a game, when Johnny Most announced that “Havlicek stole the ball!” in the 1965 Eastern Conference Finals Game 7. “Hondo,” as he was referred to, spent 16 seasons in the league, all in a Celtics uniform.
2. Larry Bird
Bird was the face of the franchise in the 1980’s when the Celtics often took on their rival Los Angeles Lakers. He won three NBA championships and three MVP Awards. He is also widely regarded as one of the 10-15 best players to ever play the game. He averaged 24.3 PPG, 10 RPG, and 6.3 APG for his career, and he shot nearly 50 percent from the field–an incredible accomplishment for a shooter from distance.
1. Bill Russell
Russell is the posterchild for sports success. He won 11 NBA titles and 5 MVP Awards–accomplishments that are not likely to be touched in the modern era. He was an incredible defender and rebounder, and would likely hold many more records had the league kept more stats in the 1950’s and 60’s. Russell’s No. 6 jersey was retired after he spent his entire playing career with the organization.