Sports
8.6k voters

The Best Boston Celtics of All Time

Updated April 29, 2020 80.7k votes 8.6k voters 102.2k 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
    4,557
    806

    Larry Bird

    Small forward, Power forward

    Age63

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

    TeamsBoston Celtics

  • 2
    Bill Russell
    4,158
    730

    Age85

    BirthplaceWest Monroe, USA, Louisiana

    TeamsBoston Celtics

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    #393 of 580 The Greatest Entertainers of All Time#311 of 433 The Most Important Leaders in U.S. History

  • 3
    Robert Parish
    1,737
    518

    Age66

    BirthplaceShreveport, Louisiana

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

    More Robert Parish 

    #118 of 329 The Most Obnoxious Athletes#1736 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time

  • 4
    Kevin McHale
    2,161
    721

    Kevin McHale

    Power forward, Center

    Age62

    BirthplaceHibbing, Minnesota, United States of America

    TeamsBoston Celtics

  • 5
    John Havlicek
    2,200
    760

    John Havlicek

    Small forward, Shooting guard

    Age79

    BirthplaceMartins Ferry, Ohio

    TeamsBoston Celtics

  • 6
    Paul Pierce
    2,792
    1,035

    Paul Pierce

    Small forward

    Age42

    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#8 of 135 The Best Small Forwards of All Time

  • 7
    Bob Cousy
    1,975
    726

    Bob Cousy

    Point guard

    Age91

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

    TeamsCincinnati Royals, Boston Celtics

  • 8
    Kevin Garnett
    2,329
    865

    Kevin Garnett

    Power forward

    Age43

    BirthplaceGreenville, South Carolina, USA

    Number5

    TeamsBoston Celtics, Minnesota Timberwolves

  • 9
    Dennis Johnson
    1,120
    417

    Dennis Johnson

    Point guard

    AgeDec. at 53 (1954-2007)

    BirthplaceSan Pedro, Los Angeles, California

    TeamsPhoenix Suns, Boston Celtics, Seattle Supersonics

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    #60 of 175 The Greatest Shooting Guards in NBA History#54 of 227 The Greatest Offensive Players in NBA History

  • 10
    Sam Jones
    1,182
    480

    Sam Jones

    Point guard, Shooting guard

    Age86

    BirthplaceWilmington, North Carolina

    TeamsBoston Celtics

  • 11
    Jo Jo White
    900
    339

    Jo Jo White

    Point guard

    Age73

    BirthplaceSt. Louis, Missouri, United States of America

    TeamsKansas City Kings, Boston Celtics, Golden State Warriors

  • 12
    Dave Cowens
    1,221
    499

    Dave Cowens

    Power forward, Center

    Age71

    BirthplaceNewport, Kentucky

    TeamsBoston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks

  • 13
    Ray Allen
    1,746
    776

    Ray Allen

    Shooting guard

    Age44

    BirthplaceMerced, California, United States of America

    Number34

    TeamsBoston Celtics, Seattle Supersonics, Milwaukee Bucks

  • 14
    K. C. Jones
    765
    310

    K. C. Jones

    Point guard

    Age87

    BirthplaceTaylor, Texas

    TeamsBoston Celtics

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    #73 of 150 The Greatest Point Guards in NBA History#19 of 76 The All Time Greatest NBA Coaches

  • 15
    Nate Archibald
    767
    336

    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
    632
    254

    Reggie Lewis

    Small forward

    AgeDec. at 28 (1965-1993)

    BirthplaceBaltimore, Maryland

    TeamsBoston Celtics

  • 17
    Isaiah Thomas
    1,502
    707

    Isaiah Thomas

    Point guard

    Age30

    BirthplaceTacoma, Washington

    Number22

    TeamsWashington Wizards

  • 18
    Danny Ainge
    832
    376

    Danny Ainge

    Shooting guard

    Age60

    BirthplaceEugene, Oregon, United States of America

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

  • 19
    Tom Heinsohn
    782
    378

    Age85

    BirthplaceJersey City, New Jersey

    TeamsBoston Celtics

  • 20
    Bill Walton
    834
    388

    Age67

    BirthplaceLa Mesa, California, United States of America

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

    More Bill Walton 

    #2 of 42 The Greatest UCLA Basketball Players of All Time#9 of 213 The Best White Players in NBA History

  • 21
    Cedric Maxwell
    593
    307

    Cedric Maxwell

    Power forward

    Age64

    BirthplaceKinston, North Carolina

    TeamsBoston Celtics, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers

  • 22
    Rajon Rondo
    1,287
    745

    Rajon Rondo

    Point guard

    Age33

    BirthplaceLouisville, Kentucky, United States of America

    Number9

    TeamsLos Angeles Lakers

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    #84 of 766 The Top NBA Players Of All Time#31 of 96 The Most Overrated Players In The NBA Today

  • 23
    Jaylen Brown
    588
    124

    Jaylen Brown

    Small forward, Power forward

    Number7

    TeamsBoston Celtics

  • 24
    Pete Maravich
    709
    391

    Pete Maravich

    Shooting guard

    AgeDec. at 41 (1947-1988)

    BirthplaceAliquippa, Pennsylvania

    Number44

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

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    #4 of 86 The Best Second-Generation NBA Players Of All Time#12 of 161 The Best NBA Players With No Championship Rings

  • 25
    Al Horford
    708
    312

    Age33

    BirthplacePuerto Plata, Dominican Republic

    Number42

    TeamsPhiladelphia 76ers