Celtics Legend John Havlicek, a Mainstay of 60s and 70s Champions, Dies at 79

BOSTON -- "Havlicek stole the ball! Havlicek stole the ball! It's all over!"

One of the most iconic moments in Boston Celtics lore, no one will ever forget the call in the 1965 NBA Eastern Conference Finals made by announcer Johnny Most or the player who made a play for the ages, John Havlicek. 

Havlicek, the Celtics' all-time leading scorer (26,395 points) and one of the most decorated players to ever don a Celtics uniform, passed away on Thursday. 

He was 79. 

A 16-year NBA veteran, all with the Celtics, Havlicek was one of the central figures in the Celtics' rise to prominence in the NBA, having been a mainstay on eight championship teams (1963-1966; 1968, 1969, 1974, 1976) in addition to being named NBA Finals MVP in 1974 and a 13-time All-Star.

In addition, he was one of the NBA's first "Sixth Men" standouts, which would later prove to be one of the many ways this future Hall of Famer revolutionized the game. 

His No. 17 Celtics jersey was immediately retired and hung in the Boston Garden rafters upon his enshrinement in the Hall in 1984. 

The first NBA player to score 1,000 points in 16 consecutive seasons, "Hondo" was best known as a tireless worker who was in constant motion on the floor, making it challenging for foes to keep up with him. 

In many ways, his play would be the template for generations of Celtics who came after him to try and emulate. 

Where John Havlicek ranks among Boston Celtics franchise records.

Selected with the seventh overall pick in the first round out of Ohio State in 1962, Havlicek was also a such a good athlete that he was also talented enough to get drafted by the NFL's Cleveland Browns. 

Here's a list of Havlicek's numerous honors and accomplishments: 

  • 8-time NBA champion (1963–1966, 1968, 1969, 1974, 1976)
  • NBA Finals MVP (1974)
  • 13-time NBA All-Star (1966–1978)
  • 26,395 points (franchise record)
  • 4-time All-NBA First Team (1971–1974)
  • 7-time All-NBA Second Team (1964, 1966, 1968–1970, 1975, 1976)
  • 5-time NBA All-Defensive First Team (1972–1976)
  • 3-time NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1969–1971)
  • NBA All-Rookie First Team (1963)
  • No. 17 retired by Celtics (1984)
  • NCAA champion, Ohio State (1960)

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