Boston Celtics: Top 5 Greatest Players

As the NBA season approaches, we are counting down the top five players for every franchise. Today we will be looking at the top 5 players for the Boston Celtics. The Boston Celtics were founded in 1946 as one of the original eight teams and our the most successful NBA franchise with 17 championships in their history. The Celtics also have 21 conference titles, 22 division titles, and 22 retired numbers in their storied history. Boston plays in the TD Garden which broke ground in 1993 and is one of the greatest sports venue in the world. The Celtics have one of the greatest rivalries in sports history with the Los Angeles Lakers in which they have played each other 12 times in the NBA Finals. Without further ado, lets jump right in to the top five players in the Boston Celtics history.

5: Bob Cousy (1950 – 1963)

When Bob Cousy was drafted in 1950 but after being drafted he started his own driving school until he officially joined the Celtics. When he did officially join the Celtics he became a star overnight with his unselfishness and his flashy approach to the game. Cousy was the Steve Nash of the league during his time with his team first mentality. Bob Cousy made the point guard position what it is now a days with having a ball handler who can get his teammates involved and being very unselfish. Cousy had phenomenal handles, ran the fast break to perfection, and was able to find his teammates in transition with on point passes.

Accolades with Boston:
-Six NBA Titles
-One MVP Award
– 13-time NBA All Star
-10-time All NBA First Team
-Number 14 retired by the Celtics
-(Career Averages) 18.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 7.6 apg while shooting 37.5% from the field

4: Paul Pierce (1998 – 2013)

Paul Pierce was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the 1998 draft with the 10th overall pick. Pierce played his college ball at Kansas where he was there for 3 seasons and was named a McDonald’s All American in his final season in high school. Paul was never a flashy player or a highlight reel but he knew how to win and was one of the toughest players in the league. Pierce brought the Celtics from a laughing stock to a championship contender. Paul would carry the Celtics for a while with his ability on both ends of the floor. Paul Pierce was given the nickname “The Truth” for his resilency every time he stepped on the court and his ability in the clutch. Paul will go down as one of the most underrated players to have ever played in the league but also one of the best of all time.\n
Accolades with Boston:
-One NBA Title (Finals MVP)
-10-time NBA All Star
-One time All NBA Second Team
-(Career Averages) 21.8 ppg, 6 rpg, 3.9 apg while shooting 44.7% from the field and 37% from 3

3: Kevin McHale (1980 – 1993)

Kevin McHale was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the 1980 draft with the third overall pick. Kevin McHale played alongside Larry Bird and they helped Boston dominate the 1980’s. McHale was a tremendous scorer and is considered as one of the best post scorers to ever play in the league. Kevin made the power forward position with his phenomenal footwork and his 6’10” frame to abuse defenders in the low post. McHale once referred to defenders as being in the “torture chamber” when guarding him because he was unstoppable. Not only was McHale an offensive machine but he was also a great defender which made him one of the best players of all time. McHale was the perfect teammate because he didn’t care about his stats or the money, all he cared about was winning and whether he came off the bench or started it didn’t matter to him. After his playing career he went on to be a head coach and a general manger in the NBA and he was highly involved in Kevin Garnett getting to the Boston Celtics.

Accolades with Boston:
-3 NBA Titles
-7-time NBA All Star
-1-time All NBA First Team
-2-time Sixth Man of the Year
-Number 32 retired by the Celtics
-(Career Averages) 17.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1,7 apg while shooting 55% from the field

2: Larry Bird (1979 – 1992)

Larry Bird was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the 1978 draft with the sixth overall pick. Before the Celtics drafted Bird they were looking bleak and needed a jolt of energy. Larry was far from an elite athlete but what he did on the floor night in and night out made him great. Bird was the true definition of a five tool player with his ability to score at will, rebound from his small forward position, run point forward and get his teammates involved, locking down the opposing teams best player, and being a great teammate on and off the court. Bird was an offensive weapon with his limitless range, his ability to play in the post when defended by small defenders, and his vision was that of a point guards. Although Bird lacked the flash and athleticism in his game, he was still dominating the league and becoming better and better everyday. Bird formed one of the greatest rivarlies in sports with Magic Johnson as the two would have some of the greatest matchups. Larry’s career was cut short due to back injuries but he left his mark on the game in his 13 seasons with the Boston Celtics.

Accolades with Boston:
-3 NBA Titles (2 NBA Finals MVP’s)
-3 MVP Awards
-12-time NBA All Star
-9-time All NBA First Team
-1980 Rookie of the Year
-Number 33 Retired by the Celtics
-(Career Averages) 24.3 ppg, 10 rpg, 6 apg whle shooting 49.6% from the field and 37.5% from 3

1: Bill Russell (1956 – 1969)

Bill Russell was drafted by the St Louis Hawks in the 1956 draft with the second overall pick. Bill Russell was later traded to the Boston Celtics for Ed Macauley and Cliff Hagan so Macauley could be back in St Louis with his sick son. Russell went on to be one of the greatest winners in professional sports. Russell redefined the game of basketball when he transformed it from a horizantal game into a vertical game with his athleticism. Although Russell was only listed at 6’9” he was still towering over players and dominating the game on both ends of the floor. Bill wasn’t much of a scorer but he dominate the glass with his rebounding ability, he was one of the best shot blockers of all time, and he was a very underrated passer. Russell would get most of his points in transition with his ability to get out and run on the break. Russell was one of the greatest competitors in sports history and he thrived under the bright lights with his 11-0 record in game 7’s. The thing that makes Bill Russell the greatest Celtic ever over Larry Bird is the fact that Russell not only dominated his era but he changed the game of basketball and the way the game was played. Bill Russell only went two years in his career where he didn’t win a championship and in one of the biggest games of his career he posted a stat line of 30 points and 40 rebounds which lead him to a title in 1962.

Accolades with Boston:
-11 NBA Titles
-5 MVP Awards
-12-time NBA All Star
-5-time Rebounding Champion
-Number 6 Retired by the Celtics
-(Career Averages) 15.1 ppg, 22.5 rpg, 4.3 apg while shooting 44% from the field

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