John Havlicek praises Paul Pierce
John Havlicek is the Boston Celtics all-time leading scorer. Havlicek’s place in Celtic’s history is right up there with that of Larry Bird and Bill Russell, but John said after Hall of Fame ceremonies on Sunday that he believes that Paul Pierce is not only a Celtics all-time great, but also “the best one-on-one player of all Celtics”.
“That’s what free agency does, it doesn’t allow you to have that continuity,” Havlicek said about Pierce’s departure. “We never made a trade in 10 years (with the Celtics) and all the people remained the same. It’s a lot different today but I wish him well. He’s one of the best all-around players and the thing I marveled at was his one-on-one ability. I think he’s the best one-on-one player of all Celtics.”
That’s high praise from a Celtics’ legend, for a Celtics’ legend. I’m sure Paul Pierce rocked an ear-to-ear grin when he heard this. Havlicek racked up 26,395 total points in his storied 16-season career with the Boston Celtics, from 1962-1978. Paul Pierce (2nd all-time to only Havlicek) piled up 24,021 in 15-seasons as a Celtics, but took his talents to Brooklyn in an off-season trade that sent Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Nets, in exchange for Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace and Keith Bogans.
“Well I think he wanted to (stay) but circumstances changed and he was able to sort of give himself another shot (at a championship) so you can’t blame him for that,” Havlicek said on Sunday.“It’s like Bill Sharman years ago, left the Celtics and became a Laker of all things. So I wish (Pierce) will and hopes that he gets that ring.”
Where would you rank Paul Pierce among all-time Celtic greats?