Sports

Boston Celtics Legend John Havlicek Has Passed Away

He was on eight Celtics championship teams.


john havlicek

Photo via AP Photo/Cheryl Senter, File

Boston’s skies are appropriately cloudy today. The city is feeling the loss of Celtics legend John Havlicek, who passed away Thursday.

According to the Celtics, he went peacefully at the age of 79, in Jupiter, Florida. He had suffered from Parkinson’s Disease in the last three years of his life.

Havlicek played for Boston for each of his 16 years in the NBA, 13 of them as an All-Star. In that time, he helped the team to eight championships, the third-most by any player in league history. The two beating him out? His Celtics teammates Bill Russell, with 11, and Sam Jones, with 10.

He was the first player to notch 1,000 points in 16 consecutive seasons, but his most immortal play didn’t score a single point. In Game 7 of the 1965 Eastern Conference Championship, Havlicek sealed the C’s 110-109 win over Philadelphia with a perfectly timed steal.

“John Havlicek stole the ball!” radio announcer Johnny Most shouted in a now-iconic highlight reel.

“John Havlicek is one of the most accomplished players in Boston Celtics history, and the face of many of the franchise’s signature moments,” the Celtics said in a statement released Wednesday. “He was a champion in every sense, and as we join his family, friends, and fans in mourning his loss, we are thankful for all the joy and inspiration he brought to us.”

NBA greats, Boston sports standbys, and fans of Havlicek on and off the court paid their respects to the Hall of Famer.

https://twitter.com/ChrisForsberg_/status/1121610080909131777

In his last game, Havlicek poured on 29 points as a farewell gift to Boston, receiving an eight minute ovation before he stepped off the court for the final time.

“John Havlicek was just a terrific guy,” former Boston Globe columnist Leigh Montville tweeted. “It was an honor to walk him out the door after his final game. He turned out the lights in the locker room when he left. Yes. he did.”