It’s hard to choose the BEST 15 players in Boston Celtics history simply because they’ve won too much. You have to weave your way in-and-out of eras throughout franchise history and separate the elite from the very good. Some of the choices are easy: Bill Russell, Larry Bird, John Havlicek, Kevin McHale. However, the closer you get to number 15 the more difficult it becomes.
Where Does KG Belong?
Kevin Garnett is a fascinating example.
“Kevin Garnett was the best all-around player to maybe ever put the green on,” said former Celtics player and current Boston broadcaster Cedric Maxwell. Frankly, when you really think about it Max isn’t that far off. KG is the ONLY player in NBA history to have at least 25,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, 5,000 assists, 1,500 steals, and 1,500 blocks. He is the ONLY player to average 20 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists for six consecutive seasons. He is the ONLY player to average 20 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists for nine consecutive seasons.
As we all know KG compiled a lot of statistics much earlier in his career on the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Big Ticket only spent five years donning the green, and yet his impact is still felt today. He did win a championship in 2008 and made the NBA Finals in 2010. The common trope is that Boston would have won a title in 2009 if it injuries did not exist. And at the end of the day KG’s number “5” will hang in the rafters of the TD Garden with the rest of the Celtics legends, which puts you in that “elite” category.
To get a sense of the rest of the top-15 Celtics of all time Cedric Maxwell joined Adam Kaufman and Evan Valenti on Celtics Beat to give his thoughts on the list, Coach Ime Udoka’s no-nonsense style of coaching, and chats about his new book “If These Walls Could Talk“.
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