John Havlicek - Celtics Legend

John Havlicek - #17 - Boston Celtics

Small Forward | 6'5" | 205 lbs. | Born: April 8, 1940

  • Eight-time NBA champion
  • Thirteen-time NBA All-Star
  • NBA Finals MVP (1974)
  • No. 17 jersey retired by Celtics
  • Chosen to 50 Greatest Players in NBA History team
  • 26,395 career points
  • Three-time NBA All-Defensive First Team

Chosen with the No. 7 overall pick in the 1962 NBA Draft.

Kevin McHale

John Havlicek - Biography

#17

When you spend 16 seasons playing for the same franchise in any sport, you become an immortalized figure in that town. When you win a title in half of those seasons, you become a legend of the game itself.

John Havlicek, dubbed with the nickname “Hondo,” is one of the most legendary players in NBA and Boston Celtics history. He played all 16 of his NBA seasons in Boston and took home the championship in eight of them. Standing two rings shy of owning one for every finger, Havlicek is the third-winningest player in NBA history. Only fellow Celtics and teammates Bill Russell and Sam Jones have won more championships than Hondo.

One of the most athletic players to enter the NBA in his generation, Havlicek burst onto the scene in 1962-63 as a high-powered reserve. His rookie season included averages of 14.3 PPG, 6.7 RPG and 2.2 APG. His rebounding and assist numbers would be generally consistent for the next five seasons, but his scoring output jumped dramatically.

Havlicek’s offensive repertoire grew year after year and helped his scoring average jump all the way to 28.9 PPG in 1970-71. That season, which was the highest-scoring campaign of his career, was the fifth of his eight consecutive seasons of averaging at least 20.7 PPG.

While he became known for his scoring, Havlicek was also able to turn up his assist totals later in his career. He averaged at least 4.0 APG in each of his final 11 seasons – he did not average that many in any of his first five – and maxed out with consecutive seasons of averaging 7.5 APG in 1970-71 and 1971-72.

Keep in mind that all of these numbers, numbers that consistently pushed a season average of a triple-double, were accumulated as a full-time reserve. Havlicek is undoubtedly the greatest “reserve” the NBA has ever seen.

The Celtics legend finished his career with astonishing numbers, including averages of 20.8 PPG, 6.3 RPG and 4.8 APG, all the while being known as one of the best defenders in the game. He tallied 26,395 points in his career and made the All-Defensive First- or Second-team eight times.

Havlicek’s most notable moment arrived on April 15, 1965, when he played the key role in one of the most historic moments in NBA history. After Bill Russell turned the ball over in the waning moments of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals – due to a pass that deflected off of a wire, no less – Havlicek stepped in to steal Philadelphia’s ensuing inbound pass, tossed by Hal Greer. Havlicek tipped the ball ahead to the aforementioned Jones, and the legendary call by Johnny Most still rings loud and clear to NBA fans: “Havlicek stole the ball! It’s all over! It’s all over!” The Celtics went on to win the NBA title that season.

His list of accolades could be stacked as high as any other player’s in NBA history. Havlicek won eight championships, including one NBA Finals MVP performance (1974). He made 13 All-Star appearances and made the All-NBA First Team four times and Second Team seven times. The NBA selected him to its 35th anniversary team as well as the renowned 50 Greatest Players in NBA History team. He was honored as an inductee to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1984, about six years after the Celtics retired his No. 17 jersey on Oct. 13, 1978.

Havlicek was a revolutionary athlete who chose to display his talents in the NBA and do so without an ego. After being drafted by the Cleveland Browns of the NFL, he chose instead to devote his time to the Celtics. In doing so, he accepted and excelled in the role of reserve. Havlicek’s legend was born in Boston, and it grew to the level of an all-time NBA great.

JOHN HAVLICEK

Height: 6'5" Weight: 205 LBS Birth: 04/08/40 College: OHIO STATE '62
First round draft choice (the 7th pick overall) in 1962... retired in 1977.

Regular Season Record
Year G MIN FGM FGA PCT FTM FTA PCT OFF DEF TOT AST PF-DQ ST BL PTS AVG
62-63 80 2200 483 1085 .445 174 239 .728 - - 534 179 189-2 - - 1140 14.3
63-64 80 2587 640 1535 .417 315 422 .746 - - 428 238 227-1 - - 1595 19.9
64-65 75 2169 570 1420 .401 235 316 .744 - - 371 199 200-2 - - 1375 18.3
65-66 71 2175 530 1328 .399 274 349 .785 - - 423 210 158-1 - - 1334 18.8
66-67 81 2602 684 1540 .444 365 441 .828 - - 532 278 210-0 - - 1733 21.4
67-68 82 2921 666 1551 .429 368 453 .812 - - 546 384 237-2 - - 1700 20.7
68-69 82 3174 692 1709 .405 387 496 .780 - - 570 441 247-0 - - 1771 21.6
69-70 81 3369 736 1585 .464 488 578 .844 - - 635 550 211-1 - - 1960 24.2
70-71 81 3678 892 1982 .450 554 677 .818 - - 730 607 200-0 - - 2338 28.9
71-72 82 3698 897 1957 .458 458 549 .834 - - 672 614 183-1 - - 2252 27.5
72-73 80 3367 766 1704 .450 370 431 .858 - - 567 529 195-1 - - 1902 23.8
73-74 76 3091 685 1502 .456 346 416 .832 138 349 487 447 196-1 95 32 1716 22.6
74-75 82 3132 642 1411 .455 289 332 .870 154 330 484 432 231-2 110 16 1573 19.2
75-76 76 2598 504 1121 .450 281 333 .844 116 198 314 278 204-1 97 29 1289 17.0
76-77 79 2913 580 1283 .452 235 288 .816 109 273 382 400 208-4 84 18 1395 17.7
77-78 82 2797 546 1217 .449 230 269 .855 93 239 332 328 185-2 90 22 1322 16.1
TOTALS 1270 46471 10513 23930 .439 5369 6589 .815 - - 8007 6114 3281-21 476 117 26395 20.8
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Playoff Record
62-63 11 254 56 125 .488 18 27 .667 - - 53 17 28-1 - - 130 11.8
63-64 10 289 61 159 .384 53 44 .795 - - 43 32 26-0 - - 157 15.7
64-65 12 405 88 250 .352 46 55 .836 - - 88 29 44-1 - - 22 18.5
65-66 17 719 153 374 .409 95 113 .841 - - 154 70 69-2 - - 401 23.6
66-67 9 330 95 212 .448 57 71 .803 - - 73 28 30-0 - - 247 27.4
67-68 19 862 184 407 .452 125 151 .828 - - 164 142 67-1 - - 493 25.9
68-69 18 850 170 382 .445 118 138 .855 - - 179 100 58-2 - - 458 25.4
71-72 11 517 108 235 .460 85 99 .859 - - 92 70 35-1 - - 301 27.4
72-73 12 479 112 235 .477 61 74 .824 - - 62 65 24-0 - - 285 23.8
73-74 18 811 199 411 .484 89 101 .881 28 88 116 108 43-0 24 6 487 27.1
74-75 11 464 83 192 .432 66 76 .868 18 39 57 51 38-1 16 1 232 21.1
75-76 15 505 80 180 .444 38 47 .809 18 38 56 51 22-0 12 5 198 13.2
76-77 9 375 62 167 .371 41 50 .820 15 34 49 62 33-0 8 4 165 18.3
TOTALS 172 6860 1451 3329 .436 874 1046 .836 - - 1186 825 517-9 60 16 3776 22.0
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