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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It was 20 years ago today that the basketball world, and the world for that matter, changed drastically.
In a press conference held in Los Angeles, Earvin "Magic" Johnson announced to the world that he is HIV positive and will retire from the NBA immediately.
A lot was still unknown about HIV and AIDS at that time. People thought that it was an automatic death sentence and could get HIV or AIDS from someone by just touching them or being in the same room as them and that AIDS was only a disease that gay men get. Magic Johnson's announcement changed all that.
Everybody thought the worst for Magic Johnson. He is going to die soon, people thought. How did he acquire HIV? Nobody knew. Former Detroit Piston and all around ignorant man Isiah Thomas claimed that Magic was gay or at least bisexual. Magic later revealed he had numerous sexual partners throughout his playing career.
His announcement showed people that no one is exempt from this horrible disease. It opened peoples eyes about the dangers of HIV and AIDS. Magic was among the NBA's elite and that anyone, no matter how rich and famous, could get this disease.
Despite contracting HIV, Johnson was voted into the All-Star game in 1992. Karl Malone argued that Johnson should not play because every player would be at risk of getting HIV. Even with people getting more and more educated about HIV and AIDS after Magic's announcement, people were still ignorant. Even Magic's own teammates, A.C. Green and Byron Scott, didn't want him to play. But Magic still played and showed people that people with HIV and AIDS can still lead a normal life.
Flash forward 20 years later, many strides have been taken in HIV and AIDS medication and sufferers are living longer lives and Magic is alive and well and inspiring people worldwide stricken with HIV and AIDS. HIV and AIDS, although still a fatal disease, is no longer a quick death sentence and Magic is a testament to that.
To me, Magic Johnson is a hero.