We rank 'em. You react. That's how the Daily List rolls.
5/07/2008 01:06:00 PM
Favorite Celtics of all time
Much to the delight of die-hard Celtics fans, Paul Pierce is finally enjoying some success.
By Andy Gray, SI.com
As the Celtics continue their quest toward title No. 17, Boston native Andy Gray looks at his five favorite Celtics of all time. Who are your favorite Celtics?
1. Tommy Heinsohn: Quite simply, the ultimate Celtic. After winning eight NBA championships as a player and two more as a coach, Heinsohn entered the announcing booth in 1981 and has been the voice to a new generation of Celtics fans. Sure, he's a homer and may argue a referee's call from time to time, but after 54 years with one organization, he's earned that right.
2. Reggie Lewis: After playing four years under Jim Calhoun at local Northeastern, Lewis helped ease the transition out of the Bird years and became the team leader until his unfortunate death in 1993. I also ran into him one time at Staples when I was 12 and attacked him like a little schoolgirl seeing Justin Timberlake. He was remarkably calm and even signed an autographed picture for me.
3. Paul Pierce: Forget everything he's done on the court in his 10 seasons with the Celtics. The guy was stabbed 11 times in the face, neck and back at a downtown bar and returned to the court a month later! Imagine how big a distraction it would be had this happened to T.O. or Derek Jeter.
4. Robert Parish: Larry Bird has received enough pats on the back for his contributions to the great Celtics teams of the 1980s. It's time to give some love to The Chief, the steady, underrated anchor of three championship teams. Not only did he play 12 seasons without changing his facial expression (a record Kenrick Perkins is currently trying to break), but he laid the smackdown on Bill Laimbeer like nobody else (take 30 seconds and watch this video.
5. Bill Russell: Has anyone had a more successful career in sports history? In his 13 NBA season, he won 11 championships (including three as player/coach), five MVP awards and an Olympic gold medal. In addition to all this, he bested longtime rival Wilt Chamberlainby marrying a former Miss USA. Quality over quantity, Wilt.
Honorable Mention (Top Fan)-- Donnie Wahlberg: The Lakers have Jack Nicholson. The Knicks have Spike Lee. The Celtics have Donnie from New Kids on the Block. Sure, it's not as sexy a name, but over the past decade or so, Wahlberg has had a permanent seat in the front row of the Garden and deserves credit for sticking with the team through thick and thin.
Even though he never played for them, Johnny Most has to rank among the favorite Celtics. As smooth as Chick Hearn (and Vin Scully) were in L.A., Johnny's broadcasting voice sounded like his diet consisted solely of 65-grain sandpaper. Compared to Most, Heinsohn's broadcasting sounds like an uncommitted Democratic superdelegate.
Whenever a Celtics game was on TV, we would turn off the volume and turn on the radio. It gave you the opportunity to find out that Johnny would typically be calling a play that occurred 10 seconds ago. The Lakers were known as Earvin, Byron, Kareem-puff and the other guys. Jake O'Donnell was public enemy #1.
And I was a Knicks' fan...
As for players, Scott Wedman - primarily because he went on a 3-point tear late in one came and caused Most to lose his voice. That was the funniest broadcast ever.
My favorite all time has to be the Hick from French Lick -- Larry Bird. He is right there with Russell and Auerbach. I would also add the Frankenstein Monster a.k.a. Kevin McHale. He define low post play for power forwards of the future. If anyone wants to be an effective low post player, go watch some of McHale's old moves and learn. Then there is little Jerry Sichsting, of course he did not have a hall of fame career, but he played with a hall of fame heart. He played hard on every play and left it all on the floor. Others were better players because they were more gifted athletically, but Jerry had the heart of a true champion. They can make a movie of his playing days and call it "Rudy"...I mena "Sichsting".
Best of all time has to include those that made them great to from the old days such as Bill Russell, Bob Cousey, Red Auerbach (duh!). Sorry but Paul Pierce, et. al. have a long way to go to be remembered several generations from now.
It's like naming the best Yankees but ignoring Ruth and Mantly because they didn't play recently
Seriously? There is no Larry Bird?? What about the time he hit a three pointer on Christmas day to win the game in front of the opposing teams' bench?? He proceeded to tell that whole bench as the ball swished through the net "Merry F'N Christmas". #1 Celtic of ALL TIME.
No Bird....Johnny Most was the greatest...He called Michael Jordan : "His Lordship" and every time the Celts got called for a foul on Jordan he would go nuts...So when Jordan stepped to the line and missed one of the free throws, Most would say: "..Jordan misses and Justice prevails...." Classic stuff...Greg Kite should get honorable mention as well...This guy was the enforcer for Bird, McHale and The Chief (Although no one really messed with The Chief) Kite would get into it with anyone..His Hoop skills were lacking, but he was blood and guts out on the floor....
The greatest Celtic ever was Russell. Cousy was probably the most popular. And Larry Legend was incomparable. But the best PLAYER was John Havlicek. He epitomized the word professional. My favorite five would be: 1. Havlicek 2. Russell 3. Bird 4. Cowens 5. Jo Jo White
Im 23 years old, this might be a little more "this generation"
1.Bird 2.Pierce 3.Cousy (worcester boy) 4.Reggie Lewis 5.It's a reach but James Posey. When I see him hugging everyone before the game, and the way he plays, the emotion that pours out of his body... a true celtic.
Where's Larrg legend, the best of the best. What about Cousy, Havlicek, Kevin Mchale, Sam Jones, Satch, even Frank Ramsey (very popular player with them). Are you even from Boston? I think you got Heinson right though. If they win this year Kevin Garnett is going to make a mecurial rise up that list even after only a year.
Bird was a great player but not a very likable guy. Favorite Celtics include both talent and personality. Pierce has put his heart and soul into an organization that hasn't given him much in return until now. You got to love his heart.
If you started watching the Celts in the late 70's into the glory days of the 80's, Cedric Maxwell will always be the man. Bird, Parish, and McHale put them over the top, but Maxwell was the heart and soul.
Who the hell is this guy who wrote this and what did he do with his brain? No Bird, Cousy, Havlicek, Red? Parrish ahead of Russell? This guy should be banned from blogging. But then again, the right to be heard does not constitute the right to be taken seriously. (I personally would have put Cornbread ahead of some of his picks).
Any list of Greatest Celtics that doesn't include Russell, Bird and Cousy is bogus. Havlicek probably belongs on the list, too.
Argue all you want about whether Heinsohn, Cowens, McHale, DJ, et. al., belong. But leaving out any of the guys mentioned in the first paragraph means you either don't get the whole Celtic thing or you're ignorant of what happened back in the day.
Paul Pierce? Not until he wins a couple of rings. Even suggesting Antoine Walker (!) or Reggie Lewis exposes you as a lunatic.
Winner of 2 NCAA Tournaments, Olympic Gold Medal and 11 of 13 NBA World champions - #6 Bill Russell. The contest between him and Wilt Chamberlain were classics. Without Russell the Celtics could not win even with Red, withhim they could not lose. It took a broken leg in the finals and a super human effort from chamberlain the other year to prevent this from being 13 out of 13 championships
No Larry Bird? What a disappointing list. The Celtics or the NBA for that matter would have been long gone from fans consciousness if not for the Bird-Magic/ Celtics-Lakers rivalry. Oh well, it IS your list afterall...
Only FIVE? Bird--sheer cussedness. Sam Jones: always overlooked. McHalemore versatile than Bird or Parish. Havlicek best all around. Mr. William Russellbeginner of not a great Celtic tradition, but the forerunner of the modern NBA.
What... No Cousey...No Cowens.. No Havlicek..? Who tops five is this anyway--- not even gonna get into the whole Bird thing. You may as well have put up Xavier McDaniel or better yet Domenique Wilkens on the list...
Tom Heinsohn!!!!!!!!Holy Cripes, I love the Celtics and had to turn the sound off when he called games, the most annoying home cookin announcer probably ever! he is worse than Harrelson at the White Sox games and the two Red Wing announcers. My goodness man, my ex-wife is more fun to listen to than Heinsohn.