Welcome back, Boston Celtics fans!
If you thought there was some healthy competition at the guard spots, though, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! There was no way I could cut down the list of worthy Celtics’ small forwards to four, so we’re going with five today, and I could easily have gone six.
What should every good conversation have in it? Why, an element of The Truth, of course! (See what I did there, eh?) Paul Pierce may finish his distinguished NBA career as a player on the Brooklyn Nets’ roster, but you can bet that you’ll see his Number 34 jersey hanging from the rafters of the TD Bank Garden soon enough once he retires. The Truth spent 15 seasons playing in Boston, enduring some pretty rough seasons before finally leading the Celtics to a championship in 2008 and another Finals appearance two seasons later. Take a look around the Celtics’ leaders – you’ll find his name listed among the top ten of an awful lot of statistical categories. He leads the Celtics in 3-pointers made, free throws made, and steals; is second in points scored and points per game; and is third in many other categories. He was the unquestioned heart and soul of the Celtics for over a decade, and his absence from the Cs will be missed for the next few years, at least.
Before Pierce, there was Reggie Lewis, the man whose career was sadly cut short during an off-season practice in 1993. Lewis faced the gargantuan task of helping an aging Larry Bird return the Celtics’ to the upper echelon of the NBA, and while he never enjoyed the success that Bird’s teams in the 80s enjoyed, Lewis also didn’t have anywhere near the supporting cast the Larry Legend had at his disposal during those dominant years. Lewis is still one of the Celtics’ top-ten shot blockers, and he is the only Boston player to record 100 rebounds, 100 assists, 100 steals, and 100 blocks in a single season. He also blocked Michael Jordan four times in one game – check it out:
Speaking of Larry Bird . . . I have to be honest: Bird is my favorite athlete of all time. Doesn’t matter which sport we’re discussing; if you told me there was only one athlete in the history of sports whose games I could watch, I would pick Larry Bird 100 out of 100 times. He was everything you want a player on your team to be: he was clutch; he was savvy; he sacrificed his body to make play after play; he was psychologically intimidating; he never gave up on a play, or a game, EVER; and he was unstoppable. The only thing that ever stopped Larry Bird were injuries, usually the result of the pounding that his body took from battling for rebounds and loose balls. Just like Pierce, Bird’s name is scattered throughout the Celtics’ record books, but Bird has the edge on The Truth with three championships, three MVP awards, and two NBA Finals MVP awards.
You may think the argument for the Celtics’ all-time small forward begins and ends with Larry Legend . . . but you would be as wrong as wrong could be, since we have yet to discuss the man who sits atop five of the Celtics all-time records, John “Hondo” Havlicek. Most games played. Most minutes played. Most field goals made and attempted. Most points scored. Eight NBA championships won, behind only Bill Russell and Sam Jones for the most won by a member of the Boston Celtics. NBA Finals MVP once. A thirteen-time NBA All-Star. He was relentless, tireless, and a fierce defender. Good lord, the man epitomizes what it is to be a “Boston Celtic.”
Last, but certainly not least, on today’s list is Frank Ramsey. Considered to be the first (and some would argue, the best) sixth man in the NBA, Ramsey was a key player in the Celtics dynasty that won eleven championships in thirteen years and eight in a row from 1959-1966 (Ramsey was a player for seven of those titles). Ramsey’s place in Celtic history cannot be ignored, which is why he made it onto this list.
All right – that was exhausting! Time for you to take over. Vote, and leave any comments you may have below!
Who would you start at small forward for the All-Time Boston Celtics team?
- Larry Bird (87%, 104 Votes)
- John Havlicek (9%, 11 Votes)
- Paul Pierce (4%, 5 Votes)
- Reggie Lewis (0%, 0 Votes)
- Frank Ramsey (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 120