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8.7k voters

The Best Boston Celtics of All Time

Updated April 29, 2020 82.4k votes 8.7k voters 103.0k 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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  • Bill Russell1
    4,225
    743

    Age85

    BirthplaceWest Monroe, Louisiana, United States of America

    TeamsBoston Celtics

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    #357 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time#409 of 583 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time

  • Larry Bird2
    4,629
    822

    Larry Bird

    Small forward, Power forward

    Age64

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

    TeamsBoston Celtics

  • John Havlicek3
    2,248
    764

    John Havlicek

    Small forward, Shooting guard

    Age79

    BirthplaceMartins Ferry, Ohio

    TeamsBoston Celtics

  • Robert Parish4
    1,760
    560

    Age66

    BirthplaceShreveport, Louisiana

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

  • Kevin McHale5
    2,194
    745

    Kevin McHale

    Power forward, Center

    Age62

    BirthplaceHibbing, Minnesota

    TeamsBoston Celtics

  • Bob Cousy6
    2,028
    733

    Bob Cousy

    Point guard

    Age91

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

    TeamsCincinnati Royals, Boston Celtics

  • Paul Pierce7
    2,829
    1,055

    Paul Pierce

    Small forward

    Age43

    BirthplaceOakland, California, United States of America

    Number34

    TeamsBoston Celtics

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    #3 of 49 The Greatest Kansas Jayhawks Basketball Players of All Time#198 of 329 The Most Obnoxious Athletes

  • Kevin Garnett8
    2,350
    889

    Kevin Garnett

    Power forward

    Age43

    BirthplaceGreenville, South Carolina, USA

    Number5

    TeamsBoston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves

  • Dennis Johnson9
    1,140
    431

    Dennis Johnson

    Point guard

    AgeDec. at 53 (1954-2007)

    BirthplaceSan Pedro, Los Angeles, California

    TeamsPhoenix Suns, Boston Celtics, Seattle Supersonics

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    #62 of 175 The Greatest Shooting Guards in NBA History#45 of 150 The Greatest Point Guards in NBA History

  • Sam Jones10
    1,204
    490

    Sam Jones

    Point guard, Shooting guard

    Age86

    BirthplaceWilmington, North Carolina

    TeamsBoston Celtics

  • Jo Jo White11
    916
    352

    Jo Jo White

    Point guard

    Age73

    BirthplaceSt. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

    TeamsKansas City Kings, Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors

  • Dave Cowens12
    1,241
    509

    Dave Cowens

    Power forward, Center

    Age71

    BirthplaceNewport, Kentucky

    TeamsBoston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks

  • Ray Allen13
    1,765
    789

    Ray Allen

    Shooting guard

    Age44

    BirthplaceMerced, California, United States of America

    Number34

    TeamsBoston Celtics, Seattle Supersonics, Milwaukee Bucks

  • K. C. Jones14
    781
    322

    K. C. Jones

    Point guard

    Age87

    BirthplaceTaylor, Texas

    TeamsBoston Celtics

  • Nate Archibald15
    780
    346

    Nate Archibald

    Point guard

    Age71

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York

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

  • Reggie Lewis16
    642
    268

    Reggie Lewis

    Small forward

    AgeDec. at 28 (1965-1993)

    BirthplaceBaltimore, Maryland

    TeamsBoston Celtics

  • Isaiah Thomas17
    1,513
    728

    Isaiah Thomas

    Point guard

    Age31

    BirthplaceTacoma, Washington

    Number22

    TeamsWashington Wizards

  • Danny Ainge18
    844
    387

    Danny Ainge

    Shooting guard

    Age61

    BirthplaceEugene, Oregon, United States of America

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

  • Tom Heinsohn19
    801
    384

    Age85

    BirthplaceJersey City, New Jersey

    TeamsBoston Celtics

  • Bill Walton20
    843
    401

    Age68

    BirthplaceLa Mesa, California, United States of America

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

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    #13 of 213 The Best White Players in NBA History#2 of 42 The Greatest UCLA Basketball Players of All Time

  • Cedric Maxwell21
    608
    311

    Cedric Maxwell

    Power forward

    Age64

    BirthplaceKinston, North Carolina

    TeamsBoston Celtics, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers

  • Rajon Rondo22
    1,306
    748

    Rajon Rondo

    Point guard

    Age34

    BirthplaceLouisville, Kentucky, United States of America

    Number9

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers

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    #84 of 786 The Top NBA Players Of All Time#8 of 141 The Greatest Kentucky Basketball Players of All Time

  • Jaylen Brown23
    601
    132

    Jaylen Brown

    Small forward, Power forward

    Number7

    TeamsBoston Celtics

  • Pete Maravich24
    714
    404

    Pete Maravich

    Shooting guard

    AgeDec. at 41 (1947-1988)

    BirthplaceAliquippa, Pennsylvania

    Number44

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

  • Al Horford25
    717
    323

    Age34

    BirthplacePuerto Plata, Dominican Republic

    Number42

    TeamsPhiladelphia 76ers

    More Al Horford 

    #45 of 161 The Best NBA Players With No Championship Rings#55 of 102 The Most Likable Players In The NBA Today