Former NBA Finals MVP and Hall of Famer Jo Jo White Dies at Age 71

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 17, 2018

SECAUCUS, NJ - MAY 23:  Jo Jo White, Director of Special Projects of the Boston Celtics, waits for the drawing of the 2006 NBA Draft Lottery on May 23, 2006 at the NBA Studios in Secaucus, New Jersey.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2006 NBAE  (Photo by Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jennifer Pottheiser/Getty Images

Basketball Hall of Famer Jo Jo White died Tuesday at the age of 71.

The Boston Celtics, whom White played with for nearly 10 seasons, issued a statement:

"We are terribly saddened by the passing of the great Jo Jo White. He was a champion and a gentleman, supremely talented and brilliant on the court and endlessly gracious off of it. Jo Jo was a key member of two championship teams, an NBA Finals MVP, a gold medal-winning Olympian and a Hall of Famer. His contributions to the team's championship legacy may have only been surpassed by the deep and lasting impact that he had in the community. The thoughts and sympathies of the entire Celtics organization are with the White family."

Drafted ninth overall by the Celtics in 1969, White played nine full seasons with the team before he was traded to the Golden State Warriors during the 1978-79 season. He also played 13 games for the Kansas City Kings in 1980-81 before he retired.

White was one of the biggest stars on the 1970s Celtics teams that won the NBA Finals in 1974 and 1976. He was named to seven straight All-Star teams from 1970-71 to 1976-77 and played in every game for five straight seasons from 1972-73 to 1976-77.

The Celtics retired White's No. 10, and he was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015. He averaged 17.2 points and 4.9 assists in 837 career games.

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