With Paul Pierce passing Larry Bird for second on the all time Boston celtics scoring list, it made me think, where does he belong on the greatest Celtics list? Many players have worn the green and white jersey that is synonymous with the Celtics and have played on the parquet floors of the Boston Garden.
So I comprised a list of who I think are the top five Boston Celtics of all-time. So here we go:
- #5- Paul Pierce (1998-Present)
Pierce is the most recent player on my list, but is very deserving of being on the list of greatest Celtics. Pierce has been a regular fixture in the lineup since his rookie year in 1998. He is a leader and it showed during the 2008 NBA Finals when after he was injured and left the court in a wheelchair, showed up later in the game and helped the Celtics pull off a victory against the Los Angeles Lakers.
- #4- Bob Cousy (1950-1963)
Bob Cousy is perhaps the first play making point guards in the NBA. Cousy has the all time Celtics record for assists and was part of six NBA Championship teams. Cousy was a player well ahead of his time with his band handling skills that no other player had in a long time. Cousy was still a huge part of the Celtics even after he retired. He became a Celtics color analyst since the 1980s. He still does work with the Celtics as a marketing consultant.
- #3- John Havlicek (1962-1978)
Hondo, the all time Celtics leader in scoring, won eight NBA Championships while with the Celtics and made perhaps one of the most memorable plays in basketball history. In the 1965 NBA Finals, Havlicek stole the ball from Wilt Chamberlain's Philadelphia 76ers as they were trying to set up a series clinching shot. That moment alone should put him on this list, but his play definitely backed up his memorable play. He was perhaps one of the best defenders in NBA history and was an all around complete guard.
- #2- Larry Bird (1979-1992)
What can you say about Larry Bird? Not only is he among the elite who have ever played for the C's, but he is among the greatest players to ever play the game. Larry Bird and Magic Johnson helped the NBA become the league it is today. He won three NBA Finals with the Celtics in a time where the NBA was extremely competitive and his shooting was one of the smoothest strokes the game has ever seen. If it hadn't been for Bird's injury problems late in his career, the Celtics and Bird might have won more titles.
- #1- Bill Russell (1956-1969)
Was there any doubt that Russell would be #1 on this list? Russell is arguably the greatest player in NBA history. His 6'9" frame in that time period was too much for the league as he repeatedly blocked shots that set up fast breaks for his teammates (Blocks were not an official stat during his playing time). His eleven titles is a record that will not be matched anytime soon. The last four seasons he played for the Celtics, he was the player coach, winning two NBA Finals as player-coach. Bill Russell was one of the rare players who could do it all and is definitely the greatest Celtic of all time.
So that's my list of top five Celtics, if you agree or disagree please comment in the comments section.