Boston Celtics legend, Basketball Hall of Famer John Havlicek dies at age 79

Boston Celtics legend and basketball Hall of Famer John Havlicek has died, the Celtics announced Thursday. He was 79 years old.

Havlicek played for the Celtics for 16 seasons from 1962 to 1978. During that time he made 13 All-Star Games, 11 All-NBA teams, eight All-Defensive teams and he helped lead Boston to eight NBA titles. He was named the MVP of the 1974 NBA Finals and his No. 17 jersey is retired by the Celtics. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1984 and was named one of the NBA's 50 greatest players in 1996. He remains the Celtics' career leader in games and minutes played, as well as points scored. 

The Celtics released the following statement after Havlicek's death: 

"John Havlicek is one of the most accomplished players in Boston Celtics history, and the face of many of the franchise's signature moments. He was a great champion both on the court and in the community, winning 8 NBA championships and an NBA Finals MVP, while holding Celtics career records for points scored and games played.

Named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, he is enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame and his retired #17 hangs in the Garden rafters. His defining traits as a player were his relentless hustle and wholehearted commitment to team over self. He was extraordinarily thoughtful and generous, both on a personal level and for those in need, as illustrated by his commitment to raising money for The Genesis Foundation for Children for over three decades through his fishing tournament. John was kind and considerate, humble and gracious. 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 commissioner Adam Silver also released a statement about Havlicek and the legacy that he left with the league. 

"John Havlicek was a wonderful friend who represented the best of the NBA," Silver said. "He described himself as a man of routine and discipline -- a humble approach that produced extraordinary results, including eight NBA championships with the Boston Celtics, 13 All-Star selections and some of the most iconic moments in league history. 

"A trusted teammate who prioritized winning, John's passion and energy endeared him to basketball fans and made him a model for generations for NBA players. We send our deepest sympathies to John's wife, Beth, his son, Chris and his daughter, Jill, as well as the entire Celtics organization."

In 1,270 career regular-season games, Havlicek scored 26,395 points and averaged 20.8 points, and also recorded 8,007 rebounds and 6,114 assists.

Our Latest Stories