The Boston Globe and The Sports Museum have teamed up to provide occasional looks back at the good old days of Boston sports, featuring the responses to prompts posted on the museum’s Facebook page from Rusty Sullivan, the museum’s executive director.
From Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, and John Havlicek to Larry Bird, Paul Pierce, and Kemba Walker, the Celtics have had a lot of great players through the years. It’s easy to pick the greatest (Russell has a pretty fair résumé in that regard), but more difficult to pick your personal favorite Celtic, for whatever the reason. So, who is your favorite all-time Boston Celtics player, and why?
▪ Hondo. He could do anything as a small forward and deadly shooting guard. A rugged pickup with a Ferrari engine. A consummate winner. He and Dave Cowens defined an underappreciated era in team annals.
▪ I was thrilled that the Museum honored Paul Silas. I always felt he epitomized what being a Celtic meant in terms of not team first but team only. His game was integral to the lesser-celebrated ’70s.
▪ So many greats to choose from. Bill Russell, of course, Jo Jo White, Dennis Johnson, and Dave Cowens come to mind as personal favorites. But in the end for me it’s Larry Bird, for being the star of the team and also the best free throw shooter. The one speaks to his athletic ability and competitive drive, the other to his work ethic that set such an example for the team.
▪ Being a diehard Lakers fan, I will have to say Larry Bird. I don’t think there will ever be two players so great and yet so intertwined with each other’s greatness. Bird-Magic is literally one word. Without one, the other wouldn’t be as great. From the NCAA, to their shared rookie card, their shared endorsements and their shared greatness …. Bird is the Celtic I loved to hate (respect).
▪ Havlicek (RIP), for the reasons enumerated above. But then Jo Jo White, so smooth and deadly. The complementary backcourt of Jo Jo and defensive ace Don Chaney is undervalued in Celtics annals.
▪ Chief. Silent but deadly.
▪ Big Bill! Hands down, when I was a youngster in the ‘60’s, he was the man amongst men, the GOAT. How could one vote for anyone else?
▪ Max. Enjoyed watching him have fun while he played the game and LOVED him when he pulled an “O’Reilly” and went into the stands at the Spectrum after that jackass fan spewing racial epithets. MVP in ‘81 and money in Game 7 ‘84.
▪ My most favorite Celtic would have to be The Truth! Paul Pierce defined Celtic Pride!