The 5 Best Players in Boston Celtics' History

By Andrew D

July 20, 2022


It seems that the name ‘Boston Celtics’ is one that is probably known in every corner of the globe.

No, we don’t think it’s flat with corners. Just for those of you maniacs who think the whole ‘globe’ thing has been a conspiracy all along. It’s just a turn of phrase.

Get a grip, by the way.

From 1950 to ’55, the Celtics never did worse than reaching the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals. They lost 3 of those and 3 times when they went one step further to the Eastern Finals.

This is when one of the most extraordinary runs in the history of the NBA began. In 13 seasons from 1956 to 1969, they won the NBA Championship 11 times. 8 of those were (naturally) back-to-back. They only missed out once in the whole of the 1960s.

Just think about that…

It is a feat that will almost certainly never be repeated in the NBA.

Perhaps in all sports…

Sadly for such an inordinately successful team, there is only really one way to go from the top.

They did win NBA Finals twice in the ‘70s and three times in the ‘80s but in the 37 years since then? Just 1 win in 2008.

It makes sense then (we hope, we talked about it in The Jump Hub office for long enough) that several of the 5 best NBA players from the Celtics’ illustrious history come from bygone times.

It’s another scenario where it’s patently ridiculous to limit the list to 5 names only. There are 5 deserving candidates from that record-breaking winning streak alone.

Some would argue that anybody who has as many winning trophies as some of these characters deserves to immediately be considered among the greatest of all time. If you think that this is an easy list to populate then check out the awards and accolades that the “Honorable mentions” have and get back to us.


We’ve got a title to match and a limited word count. It is what it is…


  • Born – 19th December 1957 – Hibbing, Minnesota – age 64

  • Position – Power forward

  • Measurements – 6’10” (2.08m) – 210lb (95kg)

  • NBA Draft – 1980 – 3rd pick – Boston Celtics

  • NBA debut – October 10th, 1980

  • Career length – 13 years

After some draft finagling that led to Boston getting 3rd pick in the 1980 NB Draft, they chose Kevin McHale. There were tensions at first as the player insisted on a hefty contract but when the dust settled he began making an impact immediately.

He was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team in his rookie season. Instrumental in saving game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals by blocking a potentially game-winning shot and snaffling the rebound.


More contract shenanigans ensued 2 seasons later after Boston had failed to make the NBA Finals in either. McHale ended up securing $1 million per season and became the 4th highest-paid player in the National Basketball Association.

Boston won a league-best 62 games in the 1983/’84 season and McHale won his first NBA Sixth Man Award. A change of head coach had given the team a fresh outlook and they went hard in the NBA Playoffs to make up for their 2 recent failed attempts. The Eastern Semi-Finals went all the way to 7 games and they prevailed over the New York Knickerbockers. This put them up against the Los Angeles Lakers in the Final.

Kevin McHale was instrumental in Boston’s comeback in the series.

He rough-housed a Lakers player and pandemonium ensued. The disruption and adrenaline were enough to get Boston back into that game which they then won.

They went on to finish the series and the franchise celebrated its 15th NBA Championship.

When injury meant that McHale moved into a starting role in 1985, he really took the bit between his teeth. Early that season he snatched 56 points in a single game. 2 days later and he was at it again with 42.

That points tally in consecutive games remains a Boston Celtics record to this day

He led both the scoring and the rebounds in the NBA Finals. Once again up against the Lakers.

Even though they lost the 6th game, McHale shone with 32 points and 16 rebounds.

The 1985/’86 Celtics team that went on to claim the franchise’s 16th NBA Championship, is considered one of the greatest teams in all of NBA history.

In his new starting role, alongside Larry Bird and Robert Parish, McHale began averaging 20+ points per game. This was a career-first for him.

That offensive lineup is still considered among the best that Celtics fans have ever seen at any period in the game’s rich history.

McHale soon set a career-high of 18 rebounds in a single game. Then he averaged 25.8 points per game in the NBA Finals against Houston. Higher than any other player.

In the 1986 season, McHale was at the peak of his powers. He had refined his low-post play to the point where he was virtually impossible to defend. He was just too elusive for defenders to keep up with. Pushing, twisting, shimmying, and spinning his way past them time and again.

He recorded career highs in points scored with 26.1 and rebounding with 9.9 McHale is in the record books as the first player in NBA history hit 60+ percent of attempted field goals and 80+ percent from the free-throw line in the same season.


  • Games – 971

  • Points – 17.9

  • Rebounds – 7.3

  • Assists – 1.7

  • Field goal % – 55.4%

  • 3-point % – 26.1%

  • Free throw % – 79.8%

  • Player efficiency rating (PER) – 20

His awards and accolades are many and are listed below. Suffice it to say that Kevin McHale was named to the All-NBA First Team, was named the NBA’s best defensive player by the league’s coaches, and finished fourth in the Most Valuable Player voting.

  • Magic Johnson

  • Michael Jordan

  • Larry Bird

The start of the next season looked equally promising and McHale averaged 30.7 points and 10 rebounds per game across 9 games. All while shooting 71.7% field goals. Just for fun, he also scored a season-high of 38 points in a single game during that spell.

While a broken foot didn’t instantly spell the end of McVale’s career, it definitely klick-started its decline. He managed to play effectively through the ’87/’88 season but the season after was the last in which he was able to play in every regular-season game.

Kevin McHale was the first player for 20 years to finish top 10 in both field goal percentage and free throw percentage in the same season. in the NBA’s top ten in field goal % (seventh) and free throw % (fifth) in the same season.

Although he hung on and played his part until the 1992/’93 season, the domination was over. McHale redefined the way that basketball teams viewed the power forward position. He was rough and uncompromising, describing the low post area as the “torture chamber” for his opponents when he had the ball in hand. None of them ever disagreed…

A true legend of the game and an untouchable hero in Boston.



  • Born – 13th October 1977 – Oakland, California – age 45

  • Position – Small forward, shooting guard

  • Measurements – 6’7″ (2.01m) – 235lb (106kg)

  • NBA Draft – 1998 – 10th pick – Boston Celtics

  • NBA debut – February 5th, 1999

  • Career length – 19 years

Paul “The Truth” Pierce is, unquestionably, one of the greatest small forwards in NBA history.

It might seem bizarre to include him in 4th position when there are players with up to 8 NBA Champions medals in the Honorable mentions section below. But, to underestimate his talents and impact would be a mistake.

Pierce virtually carried teams into the NBA Playoffs on his back at times. With more capable teammates he might have easily collected 4 or 5 winners’ rings.

He is a modern-day version of Larry Bird as far as many Boston fans are concerned. It pays to remember that he played in an era of Celtics history when the franchise collected just one NBA Championship in 37 years…

Pierce was the 10th overall pick in 1998 and must have been devastated to discover he would be playing for Boston. He hated the Celtics as a child.

If he bore any malice towards them, it didn’t show.

Paul Pierce scored 19+ points in 10 of his first 11 games and averaged 16.5 for the season. He was 3rd in the voting for Rookie of the Year.

His average grew to 19.5 the following season and in his 3rd it grew to a sensational 25.3 with 6.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists.

He started every game…

In the month of March alone he claimed more than 30 points per game and snatched over 7 rebounds. This, along with 3.4 assists and 1.6 steals made him a shoo-in for NBA Player of the Month.


  • Games – 1,343

  • Points – 19.7

  • Rebounds – 5.6

  • Assists – 3.5

  • Field goal % – 44.5%

  • 3-point % – 36.8%

  • Free throw % – 80.6%

  • Player Efficiency Rating – 19.7

In the 2001/’02 season, Pierce led the Celtics to the NBA Playoffs for the first time in seven years. In the Eastern Conference Finals, Pierce orchestrated what is considered to be the most incredible 4th quarter comeback in NBA Playoffs history. Paul claimed 19 points from his total of 28 in the last 12 minutes of the game. They clawed back a 21-point gap and won the game.

From 2002 to ’06, Paul Pierce was a back-to-back All-Star and was the league points leader in ’02. In the ’07/’08 NBA Playoffs, Pierce and co struggled at first. The Atlanta Hawks (Go Hawks!) and the Cleveland Cavaliers both took them to 7 games before capitulating. In the latter of those, Pierce recorded the 2nd most Game 7 points in Boston’s history (41) and they made the Eastern Conference Finals. 6 games there saw off the Detroit Pistons.

In the NBA Finals, Pierce gave fans a few minutes of anguish when he was carried off the court in serious pain after halftime. Not to be deterred, he returned shortly thereafter. The team went on to win its only NBA Championship title since 1986 and their last to date. Pierce was named Finals MVP and his average of 22+ points per game was invaluable to the winning campaign.

Pierce is only the 3rd player in the franchise’s history to score over 20,000 points

He eventually passed Larry Bird to become the 2nd highest scorer of all time for Boston. Pierce does not own nearly the amount of accomplishments that Bird has, he was a dominant force in his own right at his peak, representing one of the NBA’s most prolific scorers.

Pierce was an incredibly versatile player without weaknesses in offense and could do everything well. Especially his deadly jump-shot.

His athleticism was never up there with the best of them but he was crafty and resourceful. His size and strength didn’t hurt his cause and he wasn’t afraid to muscle players off the ball when necessary.

Paul Pierce may have only 1 NBA Championship winners ring but his contribution to the franchise is without question and the fans adored him for it.



  • Born – April 8th 1940 – Martins Ferry, Ohio

  • Died – April 25th 2019 – aged 79 – (RIP)

  • Position – Small forward, shooting guard

  • Measurements – 6’5″ (1.98m) – 203lb (92kg)

  • NBA Draft – 1962 – 9th pick – Boston Celtics

  • NBA debut – October 2oth, 1962

  • Career length – 16 years

Yeah yeah yeah we know

“Havlicek stole the ball!”


John Havlicek was a gifted athlete who almost played in the NFL. He was drafted to both sports but, luckily for the sport of basketball, chose to play in the NBA.

Famous for his incredible stamina, it was notoriously difficult to match pace and intensity with him. He was able to play as guard or forward as required and was extremely versatile.

In the early years with the team, coming off the bench for the Celtics became Havlicek’s forté.


He was able to harass the opposition and force the ball-handlers to make mistakes, allowing him to steal it from them. His most famous steal, and the one that produced the quotation above by a radio commentator, was made during the 1965 Eastern Conference Championship’s 7th and final game.

The Celtics were leading the 76ers with only five seconds left. All they had to do was keep hold of the ball near their own basket and advancement to the NBA Finals was secured. A pass from Bill Russell went astray and the 76ers gained possession.

As they sent the ball inbound from under their own net, Havlicek leaped like a salmon and snaffled it (Havlicek snaffled the ball doesn’t sound quite so iconic to be fair) He pushed it directly into the path of teammate Sam Jones and the game was won. Pandemonium erupted and an NBA moment that will live forever was created.

Havlicek is the Celtics’ all-time leader in points. He scored 26,395 of them at a rate of 20.8 points per game. This also puts him 16th for points scored in all NBA history.

He played a huge number of games for a player of the period. They used to drive them hard and burn them out fast back in those days.

Havlicek was the first player to score 1,000 points in 16 back-to-back seasons

Just read that sentence again and let it sink in.

A thousand points a season for 16 straight seasons.

It is almost too unbelievable to contemplate…


  • Games – 1,270

  • Points – 20.8

  • Rebounds – 6.3

  • Assists – 4.8

  • Field goal % – 43.9%

  • Free throw % – 81.5%

  • Player Efficiency Rating – 17.5

Spoiler alert* Our number one player on this list, Bill Russell, once talked about John Havlicek being;


If there are any further endorsements required then we’re not sure what they could be.

16th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Impressive.

Remind yourself that he did that in the era before the 3-point shot. Impressive doesn’t quite cut it any longer.

We’ve already waxed lyrical about John’s skills and attributes and haven’t even mentioned the fact that he won eight NBA titles. From 8 Final appearances.

We’ll just leave that there…


  • 8 × NBA Champion – 1963-’66, ’68, ’69, ’74, ’76

  • NBA Finals MVP – 1974

  • 13 × NBA All-Star – 1966-’78

  • 4 × All-NBA First Team – 1971-’74

  • 7 × All-NBA Second Team – 1964, ’66’, ’68-’70, ’75, ’76

  • 5 × NBA All-Defensive First Team – 1972-’76

  • 3 × NBA All-Defensive Second Team – 1969-’71

  • NBA All-Rookie First Team – 1963

  • NBA Anniversary Team – 35th, 50th & 75th

  • Jersey number 17 retired by Boston Celtics

  • Consensus second-team All_American – 1962

  • Third-team All-American – AP – 1961

  • Jersey number 5 retired by Ohio State Buckeyes

  • Naismith Hall of Fame – Inducted in 1964


  • Born – December 7th, 1956 – West Baden, Indiana

  • Position – Small forward, shooting guard

  • Measurements – 6’5″ (1.98m) – 203lb (92kg)

  • NBA Draft – 1962 – 9th pick – Boston Celtics

  • NBA debut – October 12th, 1979

  • Career length – 13 years

The truly astonishing days of the ’50s and ’60s must have seemed a long time ago by the late ’70s and things were looking rather bleak for Boston.

Along came one Larry Bird and the future of the franchise was changed once again.

We can argue all day whether Bird was the best player ever. Whether he was this or that. Some aspects of his play, namely his savage trash-talking and rough-housing, displeased purists. He was so supremely confident that it was often seen as arrogance, a most unpleasant human trait.

Whatever he was, Larry Bird was an absolute beast.


He was able to shoot from almost any position on the court and is certainly on any list of the best passers in NBA history.

Bird was selected 6th in the 1978 NBA Draft by the Celtics but played out his final college season before signing for them. Negotiations and wranglings led to Bird becoming the highest-paid rookie in all sports history.

Nobody would argue that he repaid such confidence in him many times over but that is still an astonishing feat.

The dye was cast. Boston never looked back and became title contenders almost overnight.

In his NBA debut, Bird took 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists.

The team was transformed by his arrival, winning 32 more games than they had the season before.

Shortly after his debut, Bird recorded his first career triple-double. 23 points, 19 rebounds, and 10 assists in a single game. A few days later he scored 30 points for the first time, along with 11 rebounds and 3 assists.

Averaging 21.3 points, 10.4 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 1.7 steals in his first season, the awards and accolades began to flow.

Rookie of the Year was an absolute given

The acquisition of Kevin McHale and Robert Parish created one of the greatest forward lineups that the game has ever seen and the franchise took the NBA Championship. Again, Bird’s stats were superb with an average of 21.9 points, 14 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 2.3 steals per game for the postseason. As the seasons progressed, it was business as usual and the team grew and went from strength the strength.


  • Games – 897

  • Points – 24.3

  • Rebounds – 10

  • Assists – 6.3

  • Field goal % – 49.6%

  • Free throw % – 88.6%

  • Player Efficiency Rating – 23.5

In 1984, Bird hit a career-high, franchise record of 60 points in a single game and was named MVP for the second consecutive season. He then became only the 3rd player in NBA history to add a 3rd the season after.

The rivalry between Larry Bird and Magic Johnson has oft been written about. It is a part of the culture of the NBA at this point. But it was real. It would take too many words to adequately describe the importance of their relationship here, so check out our in-depth article – Ripping rivalries – Magic Johnson vs Larry Bird for a much better view of things. Suffice it to say that it is hard to overstate how important they were to the growth and popularity of basketball in the USA.

Between them, the pair took eight championships in the 1980s.

One or the other of them appeared in every single Final that decade.

Bird wasn’t finished yet and ’87/’88 became his highest-scoring season yet. Despite his efforts, the Celtics failed to reach the NBA Finals for the first time in 5 years.

Although the later years of his career saw Larry Bird’s youthful prowess diminish somewhat, he was still a highly capable player. He averaged 20+ points, 9 rebounds and 7 assists per game for his final 3 seasons with the franchise. There are players who dream of those kinds of numbers to this day.

Larry’s court awareness and vision on the basketball court may be the best the game has ever seen. As mentioned, he was a top-level passer and defender. Although he was not fast, he seemed to have an in-built ability to anticipate his opponents and thwart their moves.

Bird’s accuracy from the free-throw line was absolutely astonishing and he said that he would often practice with his eyes closed!

A one-team man for his entire career, he is understandably revered by Celtics fans. Without him. the 3 NBA titles that they secured in the 1980s would have probably never come their way.



  • 3× NBA Champion – 1981, ’84, ’86

  • 2× NBA Finals MVP – 1984, ’86

  • 3× NBA Most Valuable Player – 1984-’86

  • 12× NBA All-Star – 1980-’88, ’90-’92

  • NBA All-Star Game MVP – 1982

  • 9× All-NBA First Team – 1980-’88

  • All-NBA Second Team – 1990

  • 3× NBA All-Defensive Second Team – 1982-’84

  • NBA Rookie of the Year – 1980

  • NBA All-Rookie Team – 1980

  • 3× NBA 3-point Contest Winner – 1986-’88

  • 2× 50–40–90 club – 1987, ’88

  • AP Athlete of the Year – 1986

  • NBA Lifetime Achievement Award – 2019

  • NBA Anniversary Team – 50th & 75th

  • Jersey number 33 retired by Boston Celtics

  • National college player of the year – 1979

  • 2× Consensus first-team All-American – 1978, ’79

  • Third-team All-American – NABCUPI – 1977

  • 2× MVC Player of the Year – 1978, ’79

  • Jersey number 33 retired by Indiana State Sycamores

  • Naismith Hall of Fame – Inducted in 1998


  • Born – December 7th, 1956 – West Baden, Indiana

  • Position – Small forward, shooting guard

  • Measurements – 6’5″ (1.98m) – 203lb (92kg)

  • NBA Draft – 1962 – 9th pick – Boston Celtics

  • NBA debut – October 12th, 1979

  • Career length – 13 years

It’s hard to quantify the impact that Bill Russell had. Not just on the sport of basketball, or even the Boston Celtics franchise.

Culturally. Socially. His influence was colossal.
Standing firm in the face of irrational hatred and racism, he remained steadfast and classy. That’s not to say that he sat quietly and tolerated prejudice and bigotry. Far from it…

As a famous black man during the era of Jim Crow, Russell saw it as his duty to lead the way.

He led a player protest in 1961 and refused to play

Several of the team’s black players were refused service at a racist hotel coffee shop in Kentucky before the game. Russell met with the other black players and they agreed not to play. He told the media afterwards:


In 1963, Russell stood shoulder to shoulder with Dr. Martin Luther King in the March on Washington. He was also one of the most vocal, high-profile defenders of Muhammad Ali when he refused to participate in the Vietnam war and was stripped of his boxing titles.

In 1964, the Celtics were the first NBA team ever to start five black players. This was a full 14 years after the franchise became the first to draft an African-American (Chuck Cooper in 1950)

In 1966, more milestones in history were created when Bill Russell succeeded Red Auerbach as the head coach of the Boston Celtics. He became the first black head coach in any of the United States’ four major sports leagues.

The barriers that Russell and his teammates broke are so powerful and (tragically) relevant today that it seems gauche to try and talk about basketball But, at the end of the day, that’s what this article is about and it is the reason Bill Russell was given a platform from which to help change the world.


So – here goes…

Due to some crafty maneuvering by head coach Red Auerbach and the fact that Russell was seriously under-rated, Boston managed to snag the player they wanted all along. It was a move that has been called one of the most important in the history of North American sports.

After winning gold at the Olympics in Melbourne, Bill Russell joined the Boston Celtics in December of 1956.

He made a difference immediately, averaging 14.7 points and a record 19.6 rebounds per game across the 48 games he played that season.

Russell was notorious for his grouchiness and dislike of publicity or being approached by fans. The press did not treat him kindly as a result.


In no small part down to the efforts of Bill Russell. He was never the most skillful player on the court but was simply a powerhouse defender and collector of rebounds like no player before or since.

As the 1960s drew to a close, Russell came up against a 7’1” (2.16m) giant of a man, with whom he would go on to have a fierce rivalry.

That man was Wilt Chamberlain and the clashes between these 2 incredible centers became known as “The Big Collision” or “Battle of the Titans”.

Their athleticism was unparalleled in the annals of sport and the crowds lapped up the action.


  • Games – 963

  • Points – 15.1

  • Rebounds – 22.5 (not a joke)

  • Assists – 4.3

  • Field goal % – 44%

  • Free throw % – 56.1%

  • Player Efficiency Rating – 18.9

In early 1960, Bill Russell snatched a, quite unbelievable, 51 rebounds in a single game.

Let that sink in…

He averaged 23.9 per game all season and had numerous instances of getting 35 or 40. This made his matchups with Chamberlain, who averaged 50 points per game the following season, incredibly tasty indeed. A seemingly unstoppable scoring machine against the roughest, toughest, reboundingest man who ever lived. They did not disappoint.

There are simply too many incredible stats and game-changing moments to mention here. Just look at the awards and accolades that Bill Russell received (below) and marvel at one of the most unique sporting stories the world has ever seen.

11 of 12 NBA titles won

In 1966, Russell took the job of head coach of the Celtics. In doing so he became the first black head coach in NBA history.

The story goes that he led his grandfather through the Celtics players’ locker rooms after one match and they came across John Havlicek and Sam Jones showering next to each other. His grandfather apparently broke down in tears, citing his pride at how Bill was the coach of an organization where men were all seen as equals and were treated with the same respect.

If that’s not a legacy worth commemorating, then we don’t know what is.



Sam Jones (RIP)

  • 10 x NBA Champion

  • 5 x NBA All-Star

  • 3 x All-NBA second team

  • Jersey number 24 by Celtics

Bob Cousy

  • 6 x NBA Champion

  • MVP

  • 13 x NBA All-Star

  • 10 x All-NBA first team

  • Jersey number 14 retired by Celtics

Don Chaney

  • 2 x NBA Champion

  • 5 x NBA All-Defensive Second Team

Bailey Howell

  • 2× NBA Champion

  • 6× NBA All-Star

  • All-NBA Second Team

Kevin Garnett

  • NBA Champion

  • 5 x NBA All-Star

  • All-NBA first team

  • 2008 Defensive Player of the Year

Robert Parrish (RIP)

  • 4 x NBA Champion

  • 9 x NBA All-Star

  • All-NBA second team

  • Jersey number 00 retired by Celtics

Isaiah Thomas

  • 2× NBA All-Star

  • All-NBA Second Team

  • NBA All-Rookie Second Team

Paul Silas

  • 3× NBA Champion

  • 2× NBA All-Star

  • 2× NBA All-Defensive First Team

  • 3× NBA All-Defensive Second Team

KC Jones (RIP)

  • 8 × NBA Champion

  • Jersey number 25 retired by Celtics

  • Jersey number 4 retired by San Fransisco Dons

Bill Walton

  • 2× NBA Champion

  • NBA Finals MVP

  • MVP

  • 2× NBA All-Star

  • All-NBA First Team

  • All-NBA Second Team

  • 2× NBA All-Defensive Second Team

  • NBA Sixth Man of the Year

Antoine Walker

  • NBA Champion

  • 3× NBA All-Star

  • NBA All-Rookie First Team

Cedric Maxwell

  • 2 x NBA Champion

  • NBA Finals MVP

  • Jersey number 31 retired by Celtics

Frank Ramsey (RIP)

  • 7 x NBA Champion

Jo Jo White (RIP)

  • 2 x NBA Champion

  • NBA Finals MVP

  • 7 x NBA All-Star

  • 2 x All-NBA second team

  • Jersey number 10 retired by Celtics

Dennis Johnson (RIP)

  • 2 x NBA Champion

  • NBA All-Star

  • Jersey number 3 retired by Celtics

Dave Cowens

  • 2 x NBA Champion

  • MVP

  • 7 x NBA All-Star

  • 3 x All-NBA second team

  • 1971 Rookie of the Year

  • Jersey number 18 retired by Celtics

Ed Macauley (RIP)

  • 6 x NBA All-Star

  • 3 x All-NBA first team

Satch Sanders

  • 8 x NBA Champion

  • Jersey number 16 retired by Celtics

Don Nelson

  • 5 x NBA Champion

  • Jersey number 19 retired by Celtics

Nate Archibald

  • NBA Champion

  • 3 x NBA All-Star

  • All-NBA second team

Rajon Rondo

  • NBA Champion

  • 4 x NBA All-Star

  • All-NBA third team

Tom Heinsohn (RIP)

  • 8 x NBA Champion

  • 6 x NBA All-Star

  • 4 x All-NBA second team

  • 1957 Rookie of the Year

  • Jersey number 15 retired by Celtics

Reggie Lewis (RIP)

  • NBA All-Star

  • Jersey number 35 retired by Celtics

Danny Ainge

  • 2 x NBA Champion

  • NBA All-Star

Ray Allen

  • NBA Champion

  • 3 x NBA All-Star

Bill Sharman (RIP)

  • 4 x NBA Champion

  • 8 x NBA All-Star

  • 4 x All-NBA first team

  • Jersey number 21 retired by Celtics


Boston sports fans have had a roller-coaster ride of emotions during NBA seasons over the years. For those old enough, there were staggering, dizzying highs that just kept coming and coming.

The Celtics won everything that there is to win over and over, then dropped into an abyss of mediocrity that they are still struggling to claw their way out of. Without those incredible early days, their NBA record would be an abysmal one.

We’re talking about the best NBA players from Boston, but the 5 players in the main list here would grace just about any All-Star team you could care to create.

They have more NBA titles between them than just about any 5 players you could assemble. Some players go for an entire career and never get so much as a sniff of the Finals. Collectively, these guys have 32 appearances and 26 wins.

  • McHale – 3/5

  • Pierce – 1/2

  • Havlicek 8/8

  • Bird – 3/5

  • Russell – 11/12

Truly remarkable

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