Boston Celtics Hall of Famers

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Larry Bird playing for the Boston Celtics

Larry Bird playing for the Boston Celtics (By Kip-koech, Licensed under CC BY 2.0, image link: flicker, cropped derivative)

The Boston Celtics Hall of Famers are the best players of the Celtics History and the NBA History. They are the Boston Celtics legends players, which made the Celtics the symbol they are today in the NBA. 

The Boston Celtics, one of the top teams and symbols of the NBA league. If you ask any guy and I mean, any guy on the street, just to tell you one NBA team, there is an excellent chance it will be Boston Celtics.

Many younger basketball fans would probably say Warriors or Cavs but not all.

Celtics team has won 17 league titles since NBA league was formed and they are a team with most championship wins in the history. The NBA’s “big boom” in the early 80s, owes much to the simultaneous appearance of Irvine Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, two youngsters who “fought” as students and came together to the NBA. 

If you have any doubt about how big is the Celtics franchise and how many great players played for this team, let me just tell you that the Boston has 37 players in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the most in the whole NBA. 

The Boston Celtics Hall of Famers are Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, Dominique Wilkins, Larry Bird, Ray Allen and many more. They are genuinely Boston Celtics legends and the stars of NBA league and basketball in general.

 

The Boston Celtics legends players

I think every Celtics fan has his own list of Boston Celtics legends players, but this time I will make mine “Top 3” Boston Celtics legends players. 

Bill Russell

In the first 50 years of the history of the NBA, to date, there has been no more successful player than Bill Russel. Perhaps he was not the best “all-time”, but nobody except him has 11 championship rings between 1956 and 1969, so he has a “shortage” of fingers to get all the rings he won with Boston. Who would say that from a skinny, weak and sick boy in the first years of life, will grow a giant of 2.08m, a center that will dominate for more than a decade?

“I would kick your ass!” was the message that 83-year-old Bill Russel sent to five centers that, like him, created the history of the NBA. That was his way saying  “hello” and paying respects to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Alonzo Mourning, Shaquille O’Neal, David Robinson, and Dikembe Mutombo after receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Larry Bird

He was the leader of 1980’s Celtics team. In his thirteen-year NBA career, he has achieved many successes. Having played for Boston Celtics, he won 3 NBA rings, three times declared the most valuable player in the league, twice the most valuable player in the NBA finals, and also won the Rookie of the Year award. Bird is a twelve-year NBA All-Star and was ten times elected for the All-NBA team and three times in the All-Defensive Team. 

Larry was great because he was a born winner. For him, there was only one word in the sport: a victory. He was a brilliant player, an excellent scorer, a good jumper, a solid passer and the foremost the leader, a trustworthy player whom teammates were looking for in a close game. Because they knew that he will handle the complicated situation best. Before the end of his career, he struggled with injuries. He paused more and more often, rested more and more often, watching the games lying at the end of the bench because this position gave him the less pain in his back.

I personally believe that he is one of the top 10 players who ever touched the basketball.

Paul Pierce

A more recent Boston Celtics legends player. He was the best “fat” basketball player in the world, he survived a multiple knife attack, beat Koby Bryant “1 on 1” in the playoff final, scored 42 points next to Shaquille O’Neal, caused “volcanic eruptions” in Boston, silenced 20,000  the raging New Yorkers at Madison Square Garden.

During the 18 years of the NBA career Pierce did not leave the TD Garden without points, it was possible on February 5th, on the anniversary of his first match in the starting lineup, it happened for the first time, then 11 seconds before the end of the game he did what he knows best – made the three-pointer.

The Celtics fans probably have never ever been in a situation to be so thrilled that opponents player scored in last seconds of the match on their home court.  Bizarre but reasonable situation.

Watch this exciting video in which Paul Peirce, as a Clippers player, returns to the TD Garden, the Boston Celtics Arena, and Score a three-pointer against the Celtics, and get all the Celtics fans happy and cheering him. 

Boston Celtics – Larry Bird’s team

Let’s go back to the ’80s. Boston Celtics, which competed in the 1985/86 season at that time was considered the best team in basketball history. In that season, the Celtics dominated the league and reached 67-15, with a completely incredible W/L score on home court – they had 40 wins with only one defeat. 

The only defeat came against Portland, and Larry Bird did not forget that, so before next match against Portland he said: “I’m going to play this one left-handed.”

Reason? – “I’m saving my right hand for the Lakers.”

Result? – The promise was fulfilled entirely – he scored 20 points with his left hand. Overall he had 47 points, 14 rebounds, 11 assists, and Celtics won 120: 119 in overtime.

Four Boston starters became later members of the Hall of Fame – except for Larry The Legend, there were Kevin McHale, Robert “Chief” Peris, and Denis Johnson. Bill Walton, who at that point was at the end of his career, start out of the bench, became the 5th member of the Hall of Fame from that team. The record set by 40-1 in Boston Garden is still in effect, and it was is equaled when San Antonio Spurs came to AT & T Center and Golden State Warriors to the Oklahoma Arena in the same time. Larry Bird’s team was so special!

The first contract with Boston brought  Bird half a million dollars for each of the five seasons. Boston needed him not only because he was good, but also for what he was – a white man. The tradition of Boston was that it was more white, or less black (players) than all the other NBA teams. In Bird, they found the perfect blend of what they were looking for – a big white man. Later on, Isiah Thomas said, “If Bird was black he would be just another good guy.”  Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar immediately stood in Bird’s defense, although Thomas corrected himself by saying that he did not think so.

Games between Celtics (Bird) and Lakers (Magic Jonhson) were a pure classic. I will finish this article with one small story, just to see how big Larry Bird was.

During one of the games against the Lakers, Larry Bird traveled with his team to Los Angeles and took a taxi to the local basketball court. He told the cab driver to watch him closely if he wants to see something incredible. Larry played “1 on 1” on the local court for $ 10 with everyone who wished to, the whole day. And he hasn’t lost any single game!

He beat local basketball players, college players, and professional players. At the end of the day, he ordered taxi driver to drive him back to the hotel and paid him for the ride all the money he had earned on the court, which was about 350 dollars.

And then he said to a taxi driver: “Tell everyone what you saw here today, tell your friends who really runs in LA.”

Larry Bird, what a man!

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