Bill Sy: The rules of our Celtics fantasy draft are pretty simple. We’ll do this snake draft style and go eight deep, five starters and four off the bench. You can pick any Celtic, current or from the past, but they had to be Celtics for at least three years. Consider it the Isaiah Thomas-Al Horford Rule. Also, try to fill out your squad with the roles they actually had on the team. For example, don’t pick Antoine Walker to be a super sub off your bench; if you’re gonna ride with ‘Toine, you gotta die with him as a starter. Have fun with your picks. Include a quick blurb explaining your choice. Throw in a highlight video or favorite memory.
Hoops, you’ve got the first pick.
Greg Brueck-Cassoli: Quick clarifying question? Are we to presume if we drafted Bill Russell for example that he would have access to the same science nutrition workout routines etc. as someone in the modern day?
Adam Spinella: I’d also like to know what the draft is for here, too. Like are we doing certain statistical outputs to measure our success? Is there a fan vote involved? Or are we just assembling a team that is meaningful to us.
Bill Sy: Let’s say yes to your overthinking of this, Greg. NO STEROIDS, but I will legalize marijuana for this exercise.
1Draft a team that plays to your heart strings, Adam. Or play to win. Your call. I figure we’ll get the senior staff (Jeff Clark, Keith Smith, and The Professor) and the readers to judge and when we’re done.
Steve Hooper: The #1 pick is Larry Bird!! The Hick from French Lick - the man who could drink you under the table then kill you from all angles on the court. Talk trash to you and then run up and down the bleachers all day long in short shorts. Fav moment, any game vs. the Lakers and those back and forths with Dominique Wilkins, specifically the 1988 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals Game 7. Also the guy was tough as nails: his 1991 Game 5 performance against the Pacers playing semi-concussed after smashing his head against the parquet will always be special to me.
Greg Brueck-Cassoli: I’m really tempted to take KG, but it seems foolish to pass up the winningest player in the history of existence. #2 pick in the draft is Bill Russell. For all those folks who like to complain about his dominance amongst limited competition I submit the following:
Bill Sy: I forgot to mention another rule. You get the players at their current age, but I might take 86-year-old Bill Russell over 24-year-old Bill Russell anyway.
Steve Hooper: There are going to be some doozies with people’s 9th pick. My mind is racing.
Bill Sy: Don’t get ahead of yourself, Hoops. No one is picking Greg Kite.
Steve Hooper: ----scratches Greg Kite from notebook----
Bill Sy: ----circles “Greg Kite” as 7th round target----
Jack Noonan: Alright with the third pick in the Celtics fantasy draft, I am taking John Havlicek. He is an absolute legend among the Celtic greats and was one of my dads favorite players growing up. Hondo was an 8-time NBA champion and 13-time All-Star in his 16-year career. He was one of the best shooting guards to play the game and brought us an iconic phrase known forever in NBA lore, “Havlicek stole the ball!”
Adam Spinella: I can’t lie to you, there’s a heavy amount of childhood nostalgia involved in this pick. That’s why I’m going with The Truth, Paul Pierce. #34 gave 15 years to the green-and-white, scoring 21.8 points and shooting 37 percent from 3-point range in his career. He cut down nets and was the constant through tumultuous times. He was tough, he was versatile, he was brash and he was a winner.
Adam Taylor: With the fifth pick in the draft, I select the original point god - Bob Cousy - I’m far too young to have ever seen him play, but his illustrious career and ability to score and facilitate make him a great pick-up at this early juncture in the draft.
Bill Sy: Guys guys guys. Remember when Danny traded DOWN to get Tatum AND a pick from Philly? This is that. When I volunteered to pick #6 and #7, I never thought that this was possible. The cornerstones of my team will be IT and KG. Isaiah Thomas had arguably the greatest offensive season in Celtics history; Kevin Garnett won Defensive Player of the Year the season they hung Banner 17. I’ve immediately installed heart and soul with my first two picks. Everything else just falls in line now.
Adam Taylor: With the 8th pick in the draft, I create an old school tandem by selecting Robert Parish. That gives me solid interior defense and glass eating along with a cool low post threat to finish those dimes from Cousy.
Adam Spinella: Well it’s hard to believe that a guy who won the league MVP with the Celtics is available with the 8th pick, but Team Spinella isn’t going to complain! We select Dave Cowens. Cowens is one of the most underrated and unheralded star players forgotten by NBA history. A 6’9″ lefty, Cowens spent the majority of his career guarding bigger centers like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wes Unseld and Moses Malone. Defensively, his insane toughness helped propel the Celtics frontcourt to greatness, and his grit on the glass cleaned up on most possessions. Cowens was able to win the 1973 MVP award after some insane statistical feats to go with his blue-collar work ethic: 20.5 points, 16.2 rebounds and 4.1 assists.
Bill Sy: Grrr. I wanted to pair him with KG...
Greg Brueck-Cassoli: I can’t believe KG fell to you, Bill.
Bill Sy: It was the ol’ take-Fultz-to-Chipotle-talk-up-Greg-Kite swindle that Ainge perfected.
Greg Brueck-Cassoli: Incredible GMing.
Steve Hooper: Cowens and PP is a good combo - still some big names on the board.
Jack Noonan: With my second round pick, I feel like I’m getting a steal here taking Kevin McHale. He is a three-time champion and seven-time All-Star during his career with the Celtics who was sometimes overlooked while Larry Bird got most of the attention. McHale completely changed the post-game with his quickness and tactical footwork that led to big time scoring. He was able to get by low-post defenders or take the contact and score. His game would actually fit quite nicely into today’s game. Also on the defensive end, McHale brought it each game he played. He had the intensity and team-first mindset that would be perfect cornerstone qualities to this team paired with John Havlicek.
Steve Hooper: Great pick.
Jack Noonan: Had to add that for the flare. Haha.
Greg Brueck-Cassoli: This might be a touch of a reach but I’m going with young star in the making Jayson Tatum. He’s an absurd offensive talent, and the man dunked on LeBron James in the Western Conference Finals as a rookie.
Steve Hooper: Good call. Not a reach at all. He was on my list.
So, with my 2nd round pick, I am going with the man who was crowned to usher in a new era of Celtics basketball in the 90’s - Reggie Lewis. A defensive savant and a deceptively great athlete, he was a fantastic talent and the only man to block MJ four times in a game. Not forgetting Reggie’s scoring output, his last two seasons he was above 20 ppg. He was a real favorite of mine as a Gen X fan growing up. His tragic death was a real Kurt Cobain-type of moment of my adolescence.
After two rounds, who has the best duos to be the franchise cornerstones:
Who are the best duos to start our fantasy Celtics teams?
This poll is closed
Team Hooper: Larry Bird & Reggie Lewis
Team Brueck-Cassoli: Bill Russell & Jayson Tatum
Team Noonan: John Havlicek & Kevin McHale
Team Spinella: Paul Pierce & Dave Cowen
Team Taylor: Bob Cousy & Robert Parish
Team Sy: Isaiah Thomas & Kevin Garnett