By the Numbers: Top C's of All Time - 44-66

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

What’s the toughest thing for a player to do when he joins the Boston Celtics? Pick a number.

The Celtics have retired 21 numbers since their inception in 1946. As you may surmise, a lot of great players have walked through their doors. That includes players who haven’t had their number retired by the Celtics, which brings us to this series.

We’re taking a look at every number that has been retired or donned by one of Boston’s players, then we’re selecting the greatest Celtic who has worn each number. This series consist of six installments. This edition takes a look at Nos. 44-66.

No. 44 – Danny Ainge

With two titles and seven-plus seasons with the Celtics under his belt, Danny Ainge is undoubtedly the top Celtic of all time who has worn No. 44. Boston scored a major coup when it drafted Ainge in the second round of 1981 NBA Draft. He went on to average 11.3 points per game, 2.8 rebounds per game and 4.4 assists per game over the next seven-plus seasons. Ainge was a major contributor to the 1986 championship team. He started at shooting guard for all 18 of Boston’s playoff games while averaging 15.6 PPG, 4.2 RPG and 5.2 APG. That playoff run was one of four consecutive postseasons in which Ainge averaged at least 11.0 PPG. Ainge now serves as the Celtics’ President of Basketball Operations and constructed the 2008 championship team.

Other considerations: Rick Fox, Brian Scalabrine

No. 45 – Raef LaFrentz

The Celtics acquired Raef LaFrentz from the Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 20, 2003. The trade was controversial, as it sent out a longtime fan favorite in Antoine Walker, but LaFrentz strung together solid numbers for the next three seasons. He averaged 9.2 PPG and 5.8 RPG while starting at center for 144 of 179 games. LaFrentz played with Paul Pierce at Kansas and was the third overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft.

Other considerations: None

No. 46-49 – Have not been worn

No. 50 – Eddie House

Players who win championships with the Celtics hold a lot of weight. Eddie House was an important piece of the team’s championship run in 2008. House, a 3-point marksman, shot 41.2 percent from long distance during the 2008 Finals. He made two 3-pointers in Games 3, 4 and 5. During his three seasons with the C’s, House averaged 7.8 PPG, 1.9 RPG and 1.4 APG.

Other considerations: Greg Kite, Theo Ratliff

No. 51 – Keyon Dooling

Keyon Dooling made his mark on the 2011-12 Celtics team. He was regarded as one of the most important locker room voices, all while providing solid play off of the bench as a backup point guard and shooting. Dooling played in all 20 of Boston’s playoff games that season as Boston took the eventual champion Miami Heat to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals. He finished his only season in Boston with averages of 4.0 PPG and 1.1 APG.

Other considerations: None

No. 52 – Vitaly Potapenko

No Celtic who has ever worn No. 53 has played more seasons with the team than Vitaly Potapenko. Potapenko was with the Celtics for four seasons and averaged 7.5 PPG and 5.8 RPG during that time. He was traded, along with Kenny Anderson and Joseph Forte, to Seattle on July 22, 2002 in exchange for Vin Baker and Shammond Williams.

Other considerations: None

No. 53 – Rick Robey

Rick Robey, a 6-foot-11 center, played five seasons with the Celtics that included one NBA championship. He averaged 8.3 PPG and 5.0 RPG during his time with the team, including a career-high 12.4 PPG in 1978-79. While Boston made its run to the 1981 title, Robey played in 17 playoff games and averaged 5.1 PPG and 3.5 RPG. He may be known best for being involved in the Celtics’ 1983 trade that landed future Hall of Famer Dennis Johnson in Boston.

Other considerations: Joe Kleine

No. 54 – Ed Pinckney

When Danny Ainge’s playing career with the Celtics came to an end, Ed Pinckney’s career with the Celtics began. The two were traded for each other, along with other pieces, on Feb. 23, 1989. Pinckney went on to play five-plus seasons with Boston, averaging 6.1 PPG and 5.3 RPG. He also made four playoff appearances with the team.

Other considerations: None

No. 55– Eric Williams

If you grew up in the late-90s and early 2000s, you think of Eric Williams when you see No. 55. Williams played six-plus seasons with the team from 1995-2004. He briefly played for the Nuggets in 1997-98 before the C’s reacquired him, along with Danny Fortson and Eric Washington, in exchange for Popeye Jones, Ron Mercer and Dwayne Schintzius. Williams averaged 9.2 PPG, 3.5 RPG and 1.5 APG during his time with Boston. He was a starting forward for the Celtics in 2002 when they made a run to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Other considerations: Wally Szczerbiak

No. 56 – Sean Williams

Only two players in Celtics history, Sean Williams and Brandon Hunter, have worn No. 56. Williams gets the nod as the more prevalent player due to his appearance with Boston in the 2012 playoffs. He signed with the Celtics as a free agent on April 20, 2012, just nine days before the C’s began their postseason. Williams played in two postseason games, both of which were in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Other considerations: Brandon Hunter

No. 57-65 – Have not been worn

No. 66 – Scott Pollard

Scott Pollard is the only player in Celtics history to have worn No. 66. He played his final NBA season with the team in 2007-08 as a backup center who was used sparingly. Pollard made 22 appearances that season while averaging 1.8 PPG and 1.7 RPG. He did not appear in any of Boston’s games during the 2008 playoffs, but Pollard does own a ring from that championship Celtics team.

Other considerations: None