Top 5 Boston Celtics of all-time: Any of the big 3?

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Bob CousyWhen talking about the best five Boston Celtics’ players ever you are arguably assembling the greatest collection of players from any single team in NBA history.  The Celtics have won a league high 17 NBA Championships as they have dominated the competition during their championship runs.  From the Big Three to the Larry Bird era, and all the way back to the days of Bob Cousy, here are the Top 5 Boston Celtics of All-Time.

5.  Paul PierceA lot of people are going to disagree with this but Paul Pierce is definitely deserving of making this list.  In his 14 seasons with the Celtics, Pierce has accumulated 21,694 points.  That’s 7,000 points more than Bill Russell and this season Pierce will surpass Larry Bird.  At 6-6, 230 lbs, Pierce is a wide body forward with a knack for making off-balance clutch shots and scoring points in bunches.  Pierce has appeared in nine NBA All-Star games and was named the NBA finals MVP in 2008 after the Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers for their league leading 17th NBA title.

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4.  Bob Cousy:  Nicknamed the Houdini of the Hardwood for his unprecedented ball handling ability, Bob Cousy was a 6-1 Guard from Holy Cross.  Cousy spent 13 seasons with the Celtics from 1951-63 where he helped Boston capture six NBA Championships.  During his career, Cousy led the NBA in assists for eight consecutive seasons.  He also averaged over 18 points a game throughout his career.  Cousy was named the NBA MVP in 1956-57 season.

3.  John Havlicek:  Havlicek was a 6-5 Guard/Forward who joined the Boston Celtics in 1962.  During his 16 year career, Havlicek scored over 26,000 points, grabbed more than 8000 rebounds, and dished out more than 6000 assists.  Havlicek won eight NBA championships with the Celtics and was named to the NBA All-Defensive team eight times.  Havlicek is arguably best known for one of the most famous play-by-play calls in NBA history.  “Havlicek steals it! Havlicek stole the ball!” – Havlicek seals the win for Boston in the 1965 Eastern Conference Championship Game 7 against the Philadelphia 76ers.

2.  Bill Russell:  When you win 11 NBA Championships in a 13 year career you’ve got to be one of the best of the best.  During his career, a 6-9 Russell was the centerpiece of the Boston Celtics dynasty from 1956-1969.  Russell scored 14,522 points while grabbing over 21,000 rebounds on his way to five league Most Valuable Player awards.  Russell’s ability to rebound and play defense were major reasons for the success of the Celtics as the team won nine out of a possible ten NBA titles during the 60’s.

1.  Larry Bird:  Larry Legend was one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history.  A 6’9 forward out of Indiana State University,  Bird was known for his hustle and craftiness and more often than not demonstrated the ability to score at will.  During his 13 year career, Bird averaged 24.3 points per game with over six assists and 10 rebounds.  Think about it…Bird was only four assists per game short of averaging a triple double for his career.  That’s incredible.  Bird was the front man for the Celtics three championships during the early to mid 8o’s and without a doubt would have won two more had it not have been for Magic Johnson and the Lakers.  Bird also won three League MVP awards during that stretch.  Larry Bird is the greatest Celtics’ player of all time.

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9 Responses to Top 5 Boston Celtics of all-time: Any of the big 3?

  1. Great article!  But Pierce needs to join the Lakers!

  2. LiamTheDream says:

    The old timers in Boston will say Bill Russell over Larry Bird and that’s not disparaging Bird. The Celtics had many great players…Dave Cowens, Tommy Heinsohn, Sam Jones, I could go on and on, when a team wins 11 out of 13 years there are bound to be some players overlooked…Ohhhh Frank Ramsay…..what;s the use????

  3. Kreyezt Rlawd Amen says:

    Take Pierce off the list , move everyone but Bird down one spot , then put McHale at #2.Other than that…

  4. Pipp1 says:

    I’ve seen them all play. Russell is no.1. No Russell, no Championships..
    Changed defense in the NBA. Bird –2, Havlicek–3, Cousy–4. Then it gets tough. McHale-5, Pierce-6,Heinsohn-7, S Jones-8, Cowens-9,Parish-10. Pierce is in the top 10.

    • Erinsoldman says:

      Your list is close to correct…I have to put Havlicek ahead of Bird. More points, more championships, and was more versatile.

  5. Blutto71 says:

    russell  is the number 1 celtic of all time

  6. im2ez4u2cme says:

    Bill Cowens ? ? ?   I think you must be referring to Dave Cowens

  7. 777BossTown says:

    Anyone but Bill Russell as the number one Celtic of all time is “RIDICULOUS” including Larry Bird. Russell is the absolute cornerstone of the very foundation in which the Celtic Dynasty was built. 7 titles in a row, two as a head coach and he never lost to the Lakers….Enough said!

  8. Thomas says:

    Your own statistical comparison reveals that #6 is the greatest Celtic of all time. Yours is a minority view and most have #17 at the two spot.

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