Paul Pierce, Larry Bird and the All-Time, 12-Man Boston Celtics Roster

Adam Fromal@fromal09National NBA Featured ColumnistJuly 31, 2011

Paul Pierce, Larry Bird and the All-Time, 12-Man Boston Celtics Roster

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    The Boston Celtics are historically littered with greatness. Between Bob Cousy, Larry Bird, Bill Russell, Kevin McHale and yes, even Paul Pierce, the franchise's all-time 12-man lineup is absolutely stacked. 

    Looking through the history of this storied team is truly as a treat. Where else can you find a team that won eight straight championships?

    Hall of Famers are ever-present on this team, so you know it's good. 

    Where does Paul Pierce fit in? And who all makes the 12-man roster? 

    Read on to find out. 

The Rules

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    A little while ago, I attempted to tackle the task of assembling a 12-man lineup for the Boston Celtics, along with the one for the other 29 current NBA franchises. You can check out the results here if you're curious: NBA Power Rankings: Ranking Each and Every Team's All-Time 12-Man Lineup

    But, to tackle such a huge project, I had to establish a few ground rules. Players weren't eligible to join more than one team, and that one team had to be whichever one they spent the most seasons on, regardless of where the most successful portion of their career was. The rule was intended to create an objective analysis rather than a subjective one. 

    Well now, this is a bit different. The only way to truly analyze an all-time team is to look at it subjectively. 

    For the purposes of this team, players had to play for at least three seasons with the Celtics, unless of course they hadn't yet played three seasons in the league. Also, only the player's stats with the Celtics were counted. I don't really care at all that Shaquille O'Neal was an all-time great here because his greatness didn't come while he was wearing a Boston jersey. 

    So with that in mind, read on for the Boston Celtics all-time 12-man roster. 

Starting Point Guard: Bob Cousy

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    The first man to bring flash and pizzaz to the NBA almost began his professional career when the Tri-City Blackhawks drafted him out of Holy Cross with the third overall pick of the 1950 NBA draft after Red Auerbach and the Boston Celtics elected not to draft the hometown hero and instead selected Charlie Share with the top pick. 

    Bob Cousy wasn't going to settle for playing in Moline, Rock Port and Davenport without a lot of financial compensation, though, so he elected to instead open up his own driving school in Worcester, Massachusetts. He was picked up by the Chicago Stags, but when the team folded, he, along with Max Zaslofsky and Andy Phillip, was made available in a dispersal draft. Even though Walter A. Brown, the owner of the Boston Celtics, made it very clear that Cousy was his last choice, he ended up with the point guard and reluctantly signed him. 

    That reluctance was short-lived, though, as Cooz helped the Celtics improve to a 39-30 record during his rookie season while averaging 15.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game. He was immediately selected to the first of his 13 career All-Star teams. 

    With his ahead-of-the-times ball-handling skills and the addition of Bill Sharman in his second season, Cousy led his team to its second-straight playoff elimination at the hands of the New York Knicks, this time averaging 21.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game while earning a selection to his first of 10 All-NBA First teams. 

    The Celtics were utilizing the fast-break, something teams rarely did in the pre-shot clock era, The Houdini of the Hardwood then led the league in assists for the next eight seasons while winning over the hearts of fans everywhere, not just in Boston. But up through the middle of that historic run, the point guard still hadn't seen much success in the all-important playoffs. 

    That all changed after the 1956 NBA draft when Boston added the services of K.C. Jones, Tom Heinsohn and Bill Russell. Cousy had his best season yet, averaging 20.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game while winning the NBA MVP Award for the first and only time in his career. But most importantly, the Celtics defeated the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA Finals for the first title of the point guard's storied career.

    The next season, the Celtics faced the Hawks in a rematch of the finals, but this time, with Bill Russell hobbled by a foot injury after Game 3, Atlanta took home the title. It was the last time that Cousy would see a season end with a loss.

    Cousy's Celtics won each of the next five titles, and finally, the point guard retired at the end of the 1963 season during a ceremony that would come to be known as the Boston Tear Party. Even President John F. Kennedy felt the need to voice his support for Cousy that day.

    Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1971, Cousy ended his career averaging 18.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 7.6 assists per game over his 13 seasons with the Celtics. His final season in 1969 with the Cincinnati Royals does not need to be discussed here.

Starting Shooting Guard: John Havlicek

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    "Greer is putting the ball in play. He gets it out deep and Havlicek steals it! Over to Sam Jones! Havlicek stole the ball! It's all over...It's all over! Johnny Havlicek is being mobbed by the fans! It's all over! Johnny Havlicek stole the ball!"

    If that legendary call by Celtics announcer Johnny Most wasn't enough to put John Havlicek on this team, then the rest of the Hall of Famer's incredible 16-season career certainly more than makes up for the difference. 

    Hondo, as he would come to be known, was drafted out of Ohio State seventh overall by the Boston Celtics in the 1962 NBA draft. He had just finished a very successful career with the Buckeyes on a team that also included Jerry Lucas and Bob Knight. Interestingly enough, Havlicek was also selected by the Cleveland Browns in the NFL draft and dabbled with the sport in training camp at the wide receiver position before electing to focus solely on the pursuit of a successful basketball career. 

    Even though he got off to a great start as a rookie, averaging 14.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game, Havlicek gets to call that season the worst of his 16-year career in the NBA, all of which was spent wearing Celtic green. At the end of that year, Havlicek got to celebrate the first of his eight NBA championships.

    Fast-forwarding to the final game of the 1965 Eastern Conference Championship, Havlicek was steadily improving as his team continued to win titles. It was there that his most famous moment occurred. With a 110-109 lead and five seconds left on the clock, Havlicek was forced to guard Chet Walker as Hal Greer attempted to inbounds the ball for a dangerous, Wilt Chamberlain-led Philadelphia 76ers team.

    But in a play that referee Earl Strom called one of the greatest he'd seen in his 32 years as an official, Havlicek spun around, jumped as high as he could and tipped the inbounds pass to Sam Jones, thus clinching a berth in the Finals, which the Celtics would go on to win. 

    A hard-working player who could capably play either shooting guard or small forward, Havlicek was a great all-around player who always seemed to come up big in the clutch. His best season was the 1970-1971 campaign, where he averaged 28.9 points, 9.0 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game in one of the few seasons that Boston didn't win it all. 

    A 13-time All-Star, Hondo and his No. 17 jersey finished their tenures in Boston in 1978 with career averages of 20.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. 

    Havlicek, who was the first player to break the 1,000-point threshold for 16 consecutive seasons, remains both the highest-scoring white player in NBA history and the all-time Celtics scoring leader. 

Starting Small Forward: Larry Bird

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    The NBA career of the man who would become Larry Legend began when the Boston Celtics drafted him out of Indiana State with the sixth overall pick in the 1978 NBA draft.

    Larry Bird, who returned for his senior season although the Celtics retained his rights, finished his collegiate career averaging 30.3 points per game over its duration and winning the USBWA College Player of the Year, Naismith Award and Wooden Award, all given to the nation's best player. He and the Sycamores, who had never even been to the NCAA Tournament, went 33-1 during his senior season, the only loss coming in the NCAA Championship at the hands of Magic Johnson and the Michigan State Spartans.  

    The Hick from French Lick, as he was called because of his humble origins in small-town Indiana, burst onto the professional scene, averaging 21.3 points, 10.4 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game en route to a Rookie of the Year Award, the first of nine-straight All-NBA First teams and the first of 12 All-Star teams. Most importantly, though, the Celtics improved by a massive 32 wins and put together the best regular season in the league. 

    After acquiring Robert Parish and Kevin McHale during the offseason, the first through a trade and the second through the draft, the Celtics attacked the league during Bird's second season with renewed vigor. At the end of the year, Bird had achieved a monumental success: winning the NBA Championship in only his second season. 

    After Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers won the title the next year, Bird entered into a four-year stretch that rivals any other such run in NBA history. With renewed interest in the NBA ever-present thanks to he and Johnson's newfound rivalry, the Celtics reached the NBA Finals for four straight years from 1984-1987, winning in 1984 against the Lakers, losing to Los Angeles in 1985 and 1987 and beating the Houston Rockets in 1986. 

    Even more impressively, Bird matched Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain during that stretch as one of the only players in NBA history to be named MVP three-straight seasons, doing so from 1984-1986. 

    Through the rest of the 1980s, either the Lakers or the Celtics reached the Finals every single year as the greatest rivalry in the history of this sport took flight. But unfortunately, Bird sputtered after the 1988-1989 season and continued to play at a very high, albeit not all-time great level.

    One thing that definitely kept running throughout his career was his mouth. As his back began to fail him, his jawing most certainly did not. Throughout his time in the Association, Bird was always one of the most prolific trash talkers.

    For example, one Christmas Day, Bird told Chuck Person before the game that he had a present waiting for him. Sure enough, while Person was on the bench, Bird spotted up right in front of him, launched a three-pointer, turned while the ball was in the air to say "Merry f-----g Christmas" and then watched as the ball fell perfectly through for three points. It may be true that Bird was just as skilled at humiliating opponents with his mouth as he was with the ball.

    The rest of the 1986 All-Star Weekend three-point shooting contestants can attest to this, as Bird supposedly walked into the locker room, surveyed the other people in it and then explained that he was trying to figure out who would finish second. Needless to say, he won.   

    Regardless of his trash-talking abilities, Bird was an excellent all-around player who was just as skilled on both ends of the court. Larry Legend retired in 1992, averaging 24.3 points, 10.0 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game over the course of his career. Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1998, Bird will always be remembered as one of the all-time greats of this game. 

Starting Power Forward: Kevin McHale

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    Has any player in NBA history made low-post scoring look quite as easy as Kevin McHale did? Some may argue that Hakeem Olajuwon's Dream Shake rivals anything and everything down low, but it still pales in comparison to the arsenal of moves that McHale used with seemingly little effort. 

    McHale only became a member of the Boston Celtics because the team's president at the time, the late Red Auerbach, made one of the more brilliant trades in the history of the NBA just prior to the 1980 NBA draft. Auerbach deal the No. 1 overall pick and another first-rounder to the Golden State Warriors for Robert Parish and the No. 3 pick, with which they would add McHale's services to their squad. Joe Barry Carrol, the man whom the Warriors drafted at the top, was nowhere near as successful as either one.

    After engaging in an intense contract holdout with his new team, even threatening to play overseas, McHale joined the Celtics and went on to average 10.0 points and 4.4 rebounds per game while making the All-Rookie First Team.

    No moment during his first season was more significant than his block of Andrew Toney's shot in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, a play that helped preserve a win in that game and lead the Celtics to an unprecedented comeback from a 3-1 deficit in the series with the Philadelphia 76ers. McHale and the Celtics went on to beat the Houston Rockets in the NBA Finals, and the forward was a champion in just his first season.

    Now a member of the Hall of Fame, McHale would go on to form what some call the greatest frontcourt of all time, one that was composed of him, Larry Bird and Parish.

    Drawing defenders into what he would call "the torture chamber," McHale became one of the most successful forwards ever. He was elected to seven All-Star teams, four All-NBA teams and two All-Defensive teams. But more important than anything else was the fact that McHale managed to win three titles with the Celtics.  

    While his peak season came in 1986-1987, when he averaged 26.1 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, McHale retired in 1993 after getting swept in the playoffs by the Charlotte Hornets, with career averages of 17.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. 

    Third all time in games played with the Celtics, McHale ranks fifth in points and sixth in rebounding for the storied franchise.

Starting Center: Bill Russell

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    How do you sum up the career of a man who many people consider the No. 2 player of all time in just one slide? I have no idea, but here's my attempt. 

    After the Boston Celtics cigar-smoking head coach Red Auerbach selected Tom Heinsohn with his territorial selection in the 1956 NBA draft, he set his sights on Bill Russell, a tough, defensively-oriented monster on the glass from the University of San Francisco. However, Russell was taken at No. 2 by the St. Louis Hawks.

    The draft-day saga was not over, though, as Auerbach decided to trade six-time All-Star Ed Macauley and promising prospect Cliff Hagan to the Hawks for Russell. After securing K.C. Jones later in the draft, Auerbach had added the services of not one, not two, but three future Hall of Famers in just one draft.

    After sitting out the beginning of the NBA season to play for the U.S. National Team in the Olympics, Russell joined the Celtics and averaged 14.7 points and a league-high 19.6 rebounds per game during his rookie season. Amazingly enough, that would be the third-lowest rebounding per-game average of his career.

    At the end of his rookie season, Russell helped defeat Bob Petit and the always-dangerous St. Louis Hawks to capture the first title of the 11 he would amass during his career. The next year, Russell took home MVP honors, but had to watch from the bench as his team fell to the Hawks in the Finals after he was sidelined with a foot injury. That was one of the two times in his career that his season would end with the agony of defeat. 

    The next year, Russell led a Celtics team desperate for redemption. Boston managed to win 52 games, then an NBA record, in the regular season before steam-rolling through the playoffs and capping off the run with a 4-0 sweep of the Minneapolis Lakers in the Finals. The rest is history, as Russell and the Celtics would go on to win each of the next seven titles. 

    At the end of the historic run, Russell started to slowly decline. Auerbach retired and left Russell as a player-coach, a job which he handled extraordinarily well. But in the end, his team was no match for the mighty Philadelphia 76ers, as Wilt Chamberlain led his team to a regular season record 68 wins and the championship. 

    It was only fitting that Russell would retire in 1969 as a back-to-back NBA champion, though. Despite being hampered by old age and the psychological effects of the Martin Luther King Jr. assassination, the Robert F. Kennedy assassination, the Vietnam War and the ugly divorce proceedings with his wife, Russell still managed to go out on top. 

    The first defensive superstar, Russell was in reality one of the most complete players that the NBA has ever had the pleasure of introducing to its fans. A five-time MVP and 11-time champion in just 13 seasons of play with Boston, Russell is now the namesake of the NBA Finals MVP award, an honor truly befitting of such a great champion. 

    He retired with career averages of 15.1 points and 22.5 rebounds, the latter second all-time to only Chamberlain. But the most impressive thing about his game may have been his blocking prowess, even though that stat was never officially recorded while he was still playing, meaning that we will never know just how statistically great he was in that respect. 

    Russell is the greatest Celtic of all time. 

Bench Player No. 1: Dave Cowens

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    Yet another Hall of Famer on this team, Dave Cowens was the No. 4 pick of the 1970 NBA draft out of Florida State and made an immediate impact with his new team, the Boston Celtics. As a rookie, the power forward and center managed to average an incredible 17.0 points and 15.0 rebounds per game 

    Cowens, as a reward for his success, was given the chance to share the Rookie of the Year award with the Portland Trail Blazers' Geoff Petrie, who averaged 24.8 points and 4.8 assists per game that season. Cowens would go on to have the last laugh, though, as he would accumulate more All-Star selections in his career than Petrie would seasons. 

    A great all-around player, the big man enjoyed his greatest stretch of success during a two-year run from 1972-1974. During the first of the two seasons included in that time period, Cowens averaged 20.5 points and 16.2 rebounds, both career highs, while leading his Celtics to the best record in the league and taking home MVP honors. Next season, his numbers dropped off ever-so-slightly, but he and the Celtics managed to win the title, the first of two times that Cowen would win that type of hardware. 

    With tremendous intensity, Cowens played 10 seasons in Boston and averaged 18.2 points and 14.0 rebounds per game during that span. He was brought out of retirement by the Milwaukee Bucks for the 1982-1983 season, but Cowens was not exactly his old self during that season.

    Perhaps the most impressive thing Cowens ever did, though, came during the 1977-1978 season, when he led his team in points, rebounds, assists, blocks and steals. Only Kevin Garnett, LeBron James and Scottie Pippen can claim to have achieved that.  

Bench Player No. 2: Tom Heinsohn

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    Tom Heinsohn joined the Boston Celtics when Red Auerbach made him the territorial selection in the 1956 NBA draft, the same draft in which the Celtics would add the services of future Hall of Famers Bill Russell and K.C. Jones.

    For those of you unfamiliar with the term "territorial selection," it was as follows. Starting in 1949, back when the NBA was still the BAA, the powers that be decided that teams could pick local stars with a territorial pick and forfeit their first round selection. The player, who had to have attended college within a 50-mile radius of where the team picking him played, was expected to draw local support for the team. 

    Heinsohn's career got started at a ridiculously fast pace. The 6'7" power forward and center from Holy Cross averaged 16.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game during his rookie season en route to being named Rookie of the Year, making the All-Star squad and taking home the first of his eight rings at the end of the year.

    Now a Hall of Famer, Heinsohn made six All-Star teams in his career and was a huge part of the reason that Boston was able to make its historic title run. With career averages of 18.6 points and 8.8 rebounds per game, Heinsohn was a part of a championship-winning team during all but one of his seasons at the professional level.  

    In Celtics history, he ranks 12th in points scored and ninth in rebounds hauled in. 

Bench Player No. 3: Sam Jones

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    It took Sam Jones only 12 seasons in the NBA to win 10 titles, filling up both of his talented hands with rings and placing him second in that category, trailing only his former teammate Bill Russell. 

    Jones was drafted out of North Carolina Central by the Boston Celtics with the No. 8 pick of the 1957 NBA draft. He would prove to be a steal, though, as none of the players ahead of him (Rod "Hot Rod" Hundley, Charlie Tyra, Jim Krebs, Win Wilfong, Brendan McCann, Lennie Rosenbluth and George Bon Salle), would combine to achieve virtually nothing in their NBA careers when compared to Jones.

    Now a Hall of Famer, Jones utilized a perfect combination of clutch shooting and bank shots to become one of the most feared shooting guards of all time. He was so renowned in his day that other teams would simply refer to him as "The Shooter."

    Jones' career got off to a rough start, as he averaged only 4.6 points, 2.9 rebounds and 0.7 assists per game during his rookie season. He also failed to win a title that year, one of just two such occurrences in his career.

    He redeemed himself over the next eight seasons, which included eight-straight championships, five All-Star selections and three seasons of leading the Celtics in per-game scoring.

    Jones averaged 17.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game in his career and remains ranked 13th in total rebounds and seventh in points scored in Celtics history.  

Bench Player No. 4: Robert Parish

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    Wearing the legendary (and now-retired) No. 00 jersey for the Boston Celtics, Robert Parish was the man who Bill Walton once called "the greatest shooting big man of all time." And with his rainbow-like jump shot that he released high above his head, the 7'0" center is a strong candidate for that title. 

    Parish was actually drafted into professional basketball three times. He declined the first two invitations, one from the Utah Jazz in the 1973 ABA Special Circumstances draft and one from the San Antonio Spurs in the 1975 ABA draft, but became a member of the Golden State Warriors when they picked him at No. 8 in the 1976 NBA draft. 

    Parish languished with the Warriors until he was part of one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history. He and the No. 3 pick in the 1980 NBA draft were sent to Boston for the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft and an additional first round selection. Finally, No. 00 was a part of a title contender after a trade that sent him, as he said in an interview, from an outhouse to a penthouse.

    The center spent 14 years in Boston before he departed for the Charlotte Hornets in 1994 via free agency. During his time in Boston, he averaged 16.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per game while wining three titles alongside Larry Bird and Kevin McHale.

    During that time, he gained the nickname "Chief," given to him by teammate Cedric Maxwell because his calm and strong demeanor resembled the namesake character from Ken Kesey's classic novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Although he would play long enough to become the third oldest player in NBA history, trailing only Nat Hickey of the Providence Steamrollers and Kevin Willis of the Dallas Mavericks, and the all-time leader in games played, Parish's glory days were definitely spent in Celtic green.  

    Parish ranks second in Celtics history in rebounds, first in blocks and fourth in points. 

Bench Player No. 5: Paul Pierce

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    Paul Pierce is still carving out his place in Celtics lore, but this might be the best he will ever do. There is no chance that the current great will ever replace Larry Bird in the starting lineup, no matter what he does during the remainder of his career. That said, there is a chance that he could replace John Havlicek at shooting guard with a few more good years.  

    Pierce was drafted 10th overall out of Kansas by his current team back in the 1998 NBA draft and got off to a quick start. He averaged 16.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game en route to All-Rookie First Team status. 

    Pierce, now a nine-time All-Star with a diverse set of skills, floundered away in Boston until Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen were brought in, forming the first modern day Big Three. In their first season together, Pierce helped lead his team to the NBA Championship. 

    His incredible playoff run was highlighted by a 41-point performance in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Although he's now on the decline, the most unathletic looking superstar in franchise history still has quite a few more productive years ahead of him. Pierce is already third in points, fifth in blocks, second in steals, sixth in assists and seventh in rebounds in Celtics' history.

    He's an all-time great. That's just The Truth.  

Bench Player No. 6: Bill Sharman

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    The only player in MLB history to be ejected from a major league game without ever appearing in one, Bill Sharman was definitely a better basketball player than baseball player despite the fact that he spent five years in the Brooklyn Dodgers farm system.

    After graduating from Southern California, Sharman was drafted by the Washington Capitols with the 18th pick of the 1950 NBA draft. He became a member of the Boston Celtics after he was drafted by the Fort Wayne Pistons from the Capitols in the 1951 dispersal draft and then subsequently traded to the Celtics for Chuck Share. 

    Things really picked up for Sharman when he made the first of his eight-straight All-Star teams in 1953 after averaging 16.2 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game from the guard position. More of a shooter than a distributor, Sharman teamed up during that decade with Bob Cousy to form one of the greatest NBA backcourts of all time.

    A member of four championship-winning squads with the Celtics and seven All-NBA teams, Sharman was a deadly shooter from anywhere on the court. He was one of the first guards to break the 40 percent barrier from the field and led the league in free throw shooting seven times.

    Now a Hall of Famer, Sharman averaged 18.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game during his 11 seasons with the Celtics.   

Bench Player No. 7: Jo Jo White

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    With a solid jump shot, tremendous speed, great defensive ability and virtually unmatched durability, Jo Jo White may not be a Hall of Famer, but he still makes the all-time 12-man lineup for the Boston Celtics. When Paul Pierce retires and enters the Hall, White will be the only member of this team not to have been enshrined.

    Don't let that diminish the greatness of his career though.

    White entered the league in 1969 when the Boston Celtics used their No. 20 pick to bring his talents from Kansas to New England. The guard didn't disappoint, earning a spot on the All-Rookie First Team at the conclusion of the 1969-1970 season.

    He was a crucial cog in both the 1974 and 1976 NBA Championships, more so in the latter than the former since he was named the NBA Finals MVP in 1976. No game in his career was more impressive than his Game 5 performance of the 1976 Finals, when he played an unheard of 60 minutes during the triple-overtime contest against the Phoenix Suns, scoring a game-high 33 points and dishing out nine assists.

    After winning those two titles, making seven All-Star teams and playing in 82 games for five straight seasons from 1972-1977, White was traded to the Golden State Warriors for a first round pick in the 1979 NBA draft. The pick would be spent on Larry Demic, a power forward from Arizona who would score less points in his three-year career than White did during any single season from 1970-1977.

    The guard remains 10th on the Celtics all-time scoring list. He is also fifth in assists and 11th in steals.  

The Best of the Rest

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    Ray Allen

    The sharp-shooting guard may be the all-time leader in three-pointers made, but the majority of his career was spent elsewhere. Allen was a key part of the title-winning team in 2008, but he's only spent four years wearing Celtic green, averaging 17.1 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game during that time. 

    Nate Archibald

    The man more commonly referred to as "Tiny" played five seasons with the Boston Celtics from 1979-1983. He won a title with the team in 1981 and is a member of the Hall of Fame, but he'll be remembered for his contributions to other teams as well. While with the Celtics, Archibald averaged 12.5 points, 1.9 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game. 

    Kevin Garnett

    Imported from the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2008 just in time for the championship run, Garnett may have been productive in his new home, but he left his best years behind him in the Timberwolves. The former MVP will go down as an all-time great, but not just because of his time in Boston. So far, he's averaging 16.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game with the team. 

    Dennis Johnson

    A two-time champion with the Boston Celtics, Johnson is one of the better guards in the franchise's storied history. Spending seven years in Boston, DJ averaged 12.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 6.4 assists per game there. His best years came with the Phoenix Suns though. 

    K.C. Jones

    A Boston Celtic throughout his career, K.C. Jones was a part of eight championship-winning teams. More of a defender than anything else, only Sam Jones and Bill Russell have ever won more titles. However, Jones was by no means the most important player on any of those teams. He only averaged 7.4 points, 3.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game during his time in professional basketball as a player. 

    Ed Macauley

    A Hall of Famer more because of his time with the Boston Celtics than the St. Louis Hawks, Macauley was a six-time All-Star with the Celtics, making that team during every year in which he wore a green jersey. Macauley averaged 18.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists during that time, but his most important contribution to the Celtics' greatness was being a part of the trade that brought Bill Russell to the team.  

    Rajon Rondo

    At the end of his career, Rajon Rondo may very well ascend into the 12-man lineup, but that time is not yet upon us. A Celtic ever since he was drafted in 2006 by the Phoenix Suns and immediately traded, Rondo may not have any sort of jump shot, but he's still a premier player in the current NBA because of his incredible passing and defensive skills. Rondo is already a two-time All-Star and is averaging 10.7 points, 4.4 rebounds and 7.6 assists per game from the point guard position. 

    Antoine Walker

    Antoine Walker may not be the most likable guy because of his legal troubles and attitude, but he was still a great player when he was with the Celtics. The power forward made three All-Star teams during his tenure with Boston from 1996-2003 and then returned for 24 more games at the end of the 2004-2005 season. Walker averaged 20.6 points, 8.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game during his time in New England.  

The Lineup

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    Point Guard: Bob Cousy

    Shooting Guard: John Havlicek

    Small Forward: Larry Bird

    Power Forward: Robert Parish

    Center: Bill Russell

    Bench: Dave Cowens, Tom Heinsohn, Sam Jones, Robert Parish, Paul Pierce, Bill Sharman, Jo Jo White

    Adam Fromal is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer. Follow him on Twitter: @Fromal09.

Other All-Time Rosters

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    Atlanta Hawks

    (This will be updated as I continue to publish the all-time rosters)