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The Best Boston Celtics of All Time

Updated April 29, 2020 80.3k votes 8.6k voters 101.8k views133 items

List RulesPlease rank the players based only on their time with the Celtics

This is a list of the best Boston Celtics of all time. When people think of the NBA, one of the first teams that comes to mind is the Boston Celtics. Throughout the franchise's storied history, the Celtics have had many of the greatest players of all time on its roster. The number of the game's greatest players to play in Boston is an embarrassment of riches compared to many of the league's also-rans. Bill Russell was the first great player to wear the Celtics green and white. During his tenure with the team, the Celtics won a whopping 11 championships in 13 legendary seasons. Russell is considered the best player of his generation and one of the best centers of all time.

This wouldn't be a proper Ultimate List if we didn't include Larry Bird on it. Perhaps the most popular player in Celtics history, Larry Legend is one of the best small forwards of all time. During his historic run in Boston, Bird, along with teammates Kevin McHale and Robert Parish, powered the Celtics to five NBA Finals berths, winning three championships.

After Bird retired, the Celtics relied on Paul Pierce as the team's leader. Along with Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, Pierce led the Celtics to a league record 17th championship when it defeated the rival Los Angeles Lakers in 2008. These three players are beloved by Celtics fans and look at them as some of greatest players to wear a Celtics uniform.
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  • 1
    Larry Bird is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Boston Celtics of All Time
    4,529
    797

    Larry Bird

    Small forward, Power forward

    Age63

    BirthplaceWest Baden Springs, French Lick Township, Indiana, United States of America

    TeamsBoston Celtics

  • 2
    Bill Russell is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Boston Celtics of All Time
    4,124
    724

    Age85

    BirthplaceWest Monroe, USA, Louisiana

    TeamsBoston Celtics

    More Bill Russell 

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  • 3
    Robert Parish is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Boston Celtics of All Time
    1,727
    504

    Age66

    BirthplaceShreveport, Louisiana

    TeamsBoston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Golden State Warriors, Chicago Bulls

  • 4
    Kevin McHale is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Boston Celtics of All Time
    2,144
    715

    Kevin McHale

    Power forward, Center

    Age62

    BirthplaceHibbing, Minnesota, United States of America

    TeamsBoston Celtics

  • 5
    John Havlicek is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Boston Celtics of All Time
    2,180
    757

    John Havlicek

    Small forward, Shooting guard

    Age79

    BirthplaceMartins Ferry, Ohio

    TeamsBoston Celtics

  • 6
    Paul Pierce is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Boston Celtics of All Time
    2,774
    1,031

    Paul Pierce

    Small forward

    Age42

    BirthplaceOakland, California, United States of America

    Number34

    TeamsBoston Celtics

    More Paul Pierce 

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  • 7
    Bob Cousy is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Boston Celtics of All Time
    1,956
    725

    Bob Cousy

    Point guard

    Age91

    BirthplaceYorkville, New York City, New York, United States of America

    TeamsCincinnati Royals, Boston Celtics

  • 8
    Kevin Garnett is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Boston Celtics of All Time
    2,315
    861

    Kevin Garnett

    Power forward

    Age43

    BirthplaceGreenville, South Carolina, USA

    Number5

    TeamsBoston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves

  • 9
    Dennis Johnson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Boston Celtics of All Time
    1,111
    414

    Dennis Johnson

    Point guard

    AgeDec. at 53 (1954-2007)

    BirthplaceSan Pedro, Los Angeles, California

    TeamsPhoenix Suns, Boston Celtics, Seattle Supersonics

    More Dennis Johnson 

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  • 10
    Sam Jones is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Boston Celtics of All Time
    1,171
    480

    Sam Jones

    Point guard, Shooting guard

    Age86

    BirthplaceWilmington, North Carolina

    TeamsBoston Celtics

  • 11
    Jo Jo White is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Boston Celtics of All Time
    900
    335

    Jo Jo White

    Point guard

    Age73

    BirthplaceSt. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

    TeamsKansas City Kings, Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors

  • 12
    Dave Cowens is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Boston Celtics of All Time
    1,208
    499

    Dave Cowens

    Power forward, Center

    Age71

    BirthplaceNewport, Kentucky

    TeamsBoston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks

  • 13
    Ray Allen is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Boston Celtics of All Time
    1,740
    773

    Ray Allen

    Shooting guard

    Age44

    BirthplaceMerced, California, United States of America

    Number34

    TeamsBoston Celtics, Seattle Supersonics, Milwaukee Bucks

  • 14
    K. C. Jones is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Boston Celtics of All Time
    759
    309

    K. C. Jones

    Point guard

    Age87

    BirthplaceTaylor, Texas

    TeamsBoston Celtics

  • 15
    Nate Archibald is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Boston Celtics of All Time
    761
    332

    Nate Archibald

    Point guard

    Age71

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York

    TeamsKansas City Kings, New York Nets, Cincinnati Royals, Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks

  • 16
    Reggie Lewis is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Boston Celtics of All Time
    629
    252

    Reggie Lewis

    Small forward

    AgeDec. at 28 (1965-1993)

    BirthplaceBaltimore, Maryland

    TeamsBoston Celtics

  • 17
    Isaiah Thomas is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Boston Celtics of All Time
    1,495
    705

    Isaiah Thomas

    Point guard

    Age30

    BirthplaceTacoma, Washington

    Number22

    TeamsWashington Wizards

  • 18
    Danny Ainge is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Boston Celtics of All Time
    828
    371

    Danny Ainge

    Shooting guard

    Age60

    BirthplaceEugene, Oregon, United States of America

    TeamsPhoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, Portland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics

  • 19
    Tom Heinsohn is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Boston Celtics of All Time
    772
    378

    Age85

    BirthplaceJersey City, New Jersey

    TeamsBoston Celtics

  • 20
    Bill Walton is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Boston Celtics of All Time
    832
    387

    Age67

    BirthplaceLa Mesa, California, United States of America

    TeamsPortland Trail Blazers, Boston Celtics, San Diego Clippers, Los Angeles Clippers

    More Bill Walton 

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  • 21
    Cedric Maxwell is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Boston Celtics of All Time
    588
    307

    Cedric Maxwell

    Power forward

    Age64

    BirthplaceKinston, North Carolina

    TeamsBoston Celtics, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers

  • 22
    Rajon Rondo is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Boston Celtics of All Time
    1,277
    745

    Rajon Rondo

    Point guard

    Age33

    BirthplaceLouisville, Kentucky, United States of America

    Number9

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers

    More Rajon Rondo 

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  • 23
    Jaylen Brown is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Boston Celtics of All Time
    584
    122

    Jaylen Brown

    Small forward, Power forward

    Number7

    TeamsBoston Celtics

  • 24
    Pete Maravich is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Boston Celtics of All Time
    704
    390

    Pete Maravich

    Shooting guard

    AgeDec. at 41 (1947-1988)

    BirthplaceAliquippa, Pennsylvania

    Number44

    TeamsUtah Jazz, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, New Orleans Jazz

  • 25
    Al Horford is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Boston Celtics of All Time
    704
    311

    Age33

    BirthplacePuerto Plata, Dominican Republic

    Number42

    TeamsPhiladelphia 76ers

    More Al Horford 

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