“Havlicek steals it! Over to Sam Jones! Havlicek stole the ball! It’s all over….It’s all over! Johnny Havlicek is being mobbed by the fans! It’s all over! Johnny Havlicek stole the ball!”
These were the words that were echoing throughout the Boston Garden by Boston legend Johnny Most after a game winning steal from an inbound pass by one of the greatest players to ever wear the Celtics colors, John Havlicek who is known to everyone as simply “Hondo”. He is a career Celtic with a career spanning from 1962-1978 and producing numerous championships and individual accolades throughout his tenure while showing how a role player can be a major contributor on a championship team, and how a star player can remain humble throughout numerous championship seasons.
Havlicek has been a winner all throughout his basketball career, starting with his time at Ohio State University. He played for the university from 1959-1962, where they won the NCAA Title in 1960 and was voted to the 1962 College Basketball All-American Second Team. In that same year he was named as an alternate on the United States team that participated in the 1960 Olympic Games and won the gold medal. With these accomplishments, in 1962 he was drafted as the seventh pick overall in the first round by the Boston Celtics.
Early in his NBA career he revolutionized the role of the “sixth man” role as he was selected for the NBA All-Rookie Team in his first year and even the All-NBA Second team while averaging 19.9ppg during his second season where he drastically improved his shooting. His play in the closing moments against the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1965 Eastern Conference Finals, where he tipped the final pass giving Boston a one-point win while on their way to a NBA championship. He is the all time leader in points and games played for the Celtics and became the first player to score 1,000 points in sixteen consecutive seasons, he also shares the NBA Finals record for most points in an overtime period with nine. He was known throughout the league for his almost superhuman stamina along with his ability to play both forward and guard and for his persistence and resolve on the defensive end.
- NCAA champion (1960)
- Consensus second team All-American (1962)
- 8× NBA champion (1963–1966, 1968–1969, 1974, 1976)
- NBA Finals MVP (1974)
- 13× NBA All-Star (1966–1978)
- 4× All-NBA First Team (1971–1974)
- 7× All-NBA Second Team (1964, 1966, 1968–1970,1975,1976)
- 5× NBA All-Defensive First Team (1972–1976)
- 3× NBA All-Defensive Second Team (1969–1971)
- NBA All-Rookie First Team (1963)
- Boston Celtics all-time leading scorer
- No. 17 Retired by the Boston Celtics
- NBA 35th Anniversary Team
- NBA 50th Anniversary Team