clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Community Rankings: 8th Best Celtic Ever

Getty Images

Congratulations to Dave Cowens, the CB community's 7th Best Celtic Ever. Today, we're going to highlight some of the old-timers, as sort of a public service announcement for all the younger fans who haven't read up on guys who played before 1980. Some of the notable names:

Tommy Heinsohn: Most younger fans know Tommy as our hyperbolic announcer, and many may know that he won two titles as a coach. However, few of the younger generation seem to realize how great a player Tommy was. Tommy was a six-time all-star, made the All-NBA team fours times, and won Rookie Of The Year. He was a member of eight championship teams, and was the leading scorer for three of those teams. In Game 7 of the NBA Finals, Tommy scored 37 points to lead the Celtics to a double-overtime victory. For those looking for a tie-breaker, wikipedia tells us that he is the only person to have the distinction of being involved in an official team capacity in each of the Celtics' 17 championships, as well as each of their 21 NBA Finals appearances.

Sam Jones: Despite 10 rings, the nickname "Mr. Clutch", and the moniker of "the Celtics' best player" bestowed upon him by Wilt Chamberlain, many fans forget about Sam Jones. It's hard to say why. He was a 5-time all-star and a 3-time member of the All-NBA team in an era of great shooting guards. He led the Celtics in scoring five times, which is an amazing accomplishment considering his teammates, topping out at 25.9 points. But really, it's the clutchness that set Jones apart. He hit the buzzer-beater in Game 7 that sent the Celtics to the Finals over Wilt's 76ers, and in Game 7 of the Finals that year he scored 5 of 10 Celtics points in overtime to beat the Lakers for the title. In 1969, it was Sam Jones' buzzer-beater in Game 4 against the Lakers that saved the Celtics, and launched them on to their last title of the Bill Russell era. Red Auerbach, in particular, appreciated the greatness of Jones, noting "I would like to thank Sam Jones for making me a helluva coach."

Bill Sharman: Another forgotten man, Bill Sharman was an 8-time All-Star and made the All-NBA team an amazing seven times. He won four titles with the Celts, including leading the team in scoring twice during championship seasons (and three times overall). He was a great scorer and a fierce defender, and is considered one of the best shooters of his era. Sharman was in the top ten in the NBA in FG% six times (as a guard!) and led the league in FT% a record seven times. My favorite description of Sharman comes from Jerry West, who noted "Bill was tough. I'll tell you this, you did not drive by him. He got into more fights than Mike Tyson. You respected him as a player."

We'll try to take additional glimpses of the all-time Celtics greats as these polls continue. Accomplishments for today's choices are provided after the jump.

The tale of the tape (while with the Celtics):

Tommy Heinsohn: 9 seasons, 8 titles, 6-time All-Star, ROY, 4-time All-NBA, .Coach of the Year, 2 coaching titles

Kevin Garnett:4 seasons, 1 title, 4-time All-Star, DPOY, 1-time All-NBA, 3-time All-Defense

Robert Parish: 14 seasons, 3 titles, 9-time All-Star, 2-time All-NBA

Sam Jones: 12 seasons, 10 titles, 5-time All-Star, 3-time All-NBA

Bill Sharman: 10 seasons, 4 titles, 8-time All-Star, 7-time All-NBA

Jo Jo White: 10 seasons, 2 titles, 7-time All-Star, Finals MVP, 2-time All-NBA

Dennis Johnson: 7 seasons, 2 titles, 1-time All-Star, 4-time All-Defense

Those remaining:

00 Robert Parish
3 Dennis Johnson
5 Kevin Garnett
5 Bill Walton
6 Bill Russell
7 Tiny Archibald
8 Antoine Walker
9 Rajon Rondo
10 JoJo White
12 Don Chaney
14 Bob Cousy
15 Tom Heinsohn
16 Tom Sanders
17 John Havlicek
18 Bailey Howell
LOSCY Jim Loscutoff
18 Dave Cowens
19 Don Nelson
20 Ray Allen
21 Bill Sharman
22 Ed Macauley
23 Frank Ramsey
24 Sam Jones
25 KC Jones
31 Cedric Maxwell
32 Kevin McHale
33 Larry Bird
34 Paul Pierce

35 Paul Silas
35 Reggie Lewis
40 Dino Radja
43 Kendrick Perkins
44 Danny Ainge

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Celtics Blog Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Boston Celtics news from Celtics Blog