Celtics Best Players
The Celtics’ Greatest Players
As we’ve come to expect from our favorite teams in the NBA, the Celtics have produced some of the best players in franchise history. From small forwards to power forwards, the Celtics have been blessed with a number of top players. Some of the best players from that era include: Larry Bird, Bobby Portis, and Kevin McHale. These three players teamed up to take the Celtics to five NBA Finals berths and three championships.
Paul Pierce: Drafted 10th overall by the Celtics in 1998, Pierce went on to play 15 seasons in Boston. He was named to ten NBA All-Star teams and won the 2008 NBA Finals MVP award. Pierce is often referred to as the Celtics’ Larry Bird, and he became one of the league’s best players during his prime.
Bill Russell: The most famous Celtic to ever play in the NBA was Bill Russell. His dominating defense and 22.5 rebounds per game made him one of the league’s best players and gave Wilt Chamberlain nightmares on a daily basis. Russell was arguably the best center of his generation, and was regarded as one of the best centers of all time.
Marcus Smart: Smart has been the best defensive player in the league, and was named Defensive Player of the Year last season. His ability to handle the ball has helped the Celtics’ offense. Last season, Smart averaged 23.6 points and has proven to be a valuable secondary option. However, his inconsistency off the ball and weird turnovers can be annoying.
Bird: Bird is the second most celebrated Celtics player in history. He was 6’9″ and weighed 230 pounds. In 2003, he was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame and voted one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history. His nickname was “The Chief” after the fictional Chief Bromden in the book One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. He earned this nickname from his teammate Cedric Maxwell, who admired his stoic demeanor.
Another one of the Celtics’ greatest players is Sam Cousy. This former Holy Cross star led the Celtics to six championships in his career. He won the NBA MVP twice and was an eight-time All-Star. He was a clutch scorer and played for the Celtics for his entire career.
Another great player from Boston was John Havlicek. He joined the Celtics in 1962 and played for the team for 16 seasons. He was a key player on the team, scoring 21.9 points per game and pulling down eight rebounds per game. He was a member of 13 NBA All-Star teams and was voted NBA Finals MVP in 1974.
James Jones: The Celtics had a very successful offense for many years with his scoring ability. He was the center of the offense for the team, and scored over 15,000 points in his time with the team. He was also named the Rookie of the Year in 1956. In 1996, he was named one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players.