John Havlicek

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John Havlicek
No. 17
Small forward / Guard
Personal information
Born (1940-04-08) April 8, 1940 (age 74)
Martins Ferry, Ohio
Nationality American
Listed height 6 ft 5 in (196 cm)
Listed weight 203 lb (92 kg)
Career information
High school Bridgeport (Bridgeport, Ohio)
College Ohio State (1959–1962)
NBA draft 1962 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7th overall
Selected by the Boston Celtics
Pro playing career 1962–1978
Career history
19621978 Boston Celtics
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points 26,395 (20.8 ppg)
Rebounds 8,007 (6.3 rpg)
Assists 6,114 (4.8 apg)
Stats at Basketball-Reference.com
Basketball Hall of Fame as player

John J. "Hondo" Havlicek (/ˈhævlɨɛk/ HAV-lə-chek; born April 8, 1940) is a retired American professional basketball player who competed for 16 seasons with the Boston Celtics, winning eight NBA championships, four of them coming in his first four seasons.

In the NBA, only teammates Bill Russell and Sam Jones won more championships during their playing careers. Havlicek is widely considered to be one of the greatest players in the history of the game, and was inducted as a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 1984. He was a three-sport athlete at Bridgeport High School in Bridgeport, Ohio and one of his boyhood friends was Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro.

College and NBA career[edit]

Havlicek played college basketball with Jerry Lucas at Ohio State University. That team, which also had future coaching legend Bobby Knight as a reserve, won the 1960 NCAA title. He was named as an alternate to the 1960 Olympic Games United States Team.[1]

Havlicek was drafted by both the Celtics and the NFL's Cleveland Browns in 1962. After competing briefly as a wide receiver in the Browns' training camp that year, he focused his energies on playing for the Celtics, with head coach Red Auerbach later describing him as the "guts of the team." He was also known for his stamina, with competitors saying that it was a challenge just to keep up with him.

Nicknamed "Hondo", (a name inspired by the John Wayne movie of the same name), Havlicek revolutionized the "sixth man" role, and has been immortalized for his clutch steal in the closing seconds of the 1965 Eastern Conference championship.

In the seventh and final game, played at Boston Garden, the Celtics led the Philadelphia 76ers 110-109 with five seconds left, and only needed to inbound the ball underneath their basket to secure the victory and advance to the NBA Finals; however, Bill Russell's pass struck a wire that hung down from the ceiling and helped support the baskets, the turnover giving the 76ers and Wilt Chamberlain the ball and a chance to win the game—and the series. Hal Greer was set to throw the inbounds pass for the 76ers. Havlicek stood with his back to Greer, guarding Chet Walker.

But as Greer's pass came inbounds, Havlicek spun, leaped and tipped the pass to Sam Jones, leading Celtics announcer Johnny Most to make the most famous call of his career:

"Greer is putting the ball in play. He gets it out deep and Havlicek steals it! Over to Sam Jones! Havlicek stole the ball! It's all over...It's all over! Johnny Havlicek is being mobbed by the fans! It's all over! Johnny Havlicek stole the ball!"

Veteran referee Earl Strom, who wrote about this in his memoir "Calling the Shots," called Havlicek's reaction one of the greatest plays Strom ever saw in his 32 years as a professional official.

Havlicek is the Celtics all-time leader in points and games played, scoring 26,395 points (20.8 points per game, 13th all-time in points scored in the NBA), and playing in 1,270 games (17th all-time). He became the first player to score 1,000 points in 16 consecutive seasons, with his best season coming during the 1970-71 NBA season when he averaged 28.9 points per game.

Havlicek shares the NBA Finals single-game record for most points in an overtime period (9 in a May 10, 1974 game vs. the Milwaukee Bucks), and was named that year's NBA Finals MVP.

In the second overtime of Game Five of the 1976 NBA Finals, Havlicek made a leaning, running bank shot that appeared to be the game-winner, as fans spilled onto the floor. But, Havlicek's shot went in with one second left and Phoenix was allowed one final shot (after Jo Jo White converted the technical foul shot for Phoenix's illegal timeout), which Gar Heard scored to force the game's third overtime. The Celtics went on to win the game in triple overtime.

Aside from being a great sixth man at the start of his career, Havlicek became known for his ability to play both forward and guard, his relentlessness and tenacity on both offense and defense, his outstanding skills in all facets of the game, his constant movement, and his tireless ability to run up and down the court. As a result of his endurance, he was a devastating fastbreak finisher, one who could suddenly score in bunches when his Celtics team would shut out the other team and grab defensive rebounds. Although he did not have a high field goal percentage, he was a clutch outside shooter with great range. He was also the type of player who would do what it took to help his team score a victory, such as grab a crucial rebound, draw a charge, come up with a steal in a key defensive moment, or settle the team with a clutch basket or assist. In 1974, Bill Russell summed up Havlicek's career by saying "He is the best all-around player I ever saw."

Legacy[edit]

A thirteen-time NBA All-Star, Havlicek retired in 1978 and his number 17 jersey was immediately retired at the Boston Garden. In 1984 Havlicek became a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. In 1997 he was selected as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. Havlicek was ranked #17 on SLAM Magazine's Top 50 NBA Players of all time in 2009 and once again at the same position in the magazine's Top 500 NBA Players of all time in 2011. He was also named the 14th best player of all-time in Bill Simmons's Book of Basketball.

The Bridgeport High School Gymnasium was renamed the "John J. Havlicek Gymnasium" in January 2007. He shares the honor with National High School Hall of Fame member Frank Baxter, a longtime coach at Bridgeport High School. The court is named after Baxter.

Family[edit]

Havlicek's son Chris played collegiate basketball for the University of Virginia in the early 1990s.[2]

He is of Czech descent on his father's side and of Croatian descent on his mother's.

NBA career statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1962–63 Boston 80 27.5 .445 .728 6.7 2.2 14.3
1963–64 Boston 80 32.3 .417 .746 5.4 3.0 19.9
1964–65 Boston 75 28.9 .401 .744 4.9 2.7 18.3
1965–66 Boston 71 30.6 .399 .785 6.0 3.0 18.8
1966–67 Boston 81 32.1 .444 .828 6.6 3.4 21.4
1967–68 Boston 82 35.6 .429 .812 6.7 4.7 20.7
1968–69 Boston 82 38.7 .405 .780 7.0 5.4 21.6
1969–70 Boston 81 41.6 .464 .844 7.8 6.8 24.2
1970–71 Boston 81 45.4 .450 .818 9.0 7.5 28.9
1971–72 Boston 82 45.1 .458 .834 8.2 7.5 27.5
1972–73 Boston 80 42.1 .450 .858 7.1 6.6 23.8
1973–74 Boston 76 40.7 .456 .832 6.4 5.9 1.3 .4 22.6
1974–75 Boston 82 38.2 .455 .870 5.9 5.3 1.3 .2 19.2
1975–76 Boston 76 34.2 .450 .844 4.1 3.7 1.3 .4 17.0
1976–77 Boston 79 36.9 .452 .816 4.8 5.1 1.1 .2 17.7
1977–78 Boston 82 34.1 .449 .855 4.0 4.0 1.1 .3 16.1
All-Star 13 10 23.3 .481 .756 3.5 2.6 .3 .0 13.8
Career 1,270 36.6 .439 .815 6.3 4.8 1.2 .3 20.8

Playoffs[edit]

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1963 Boston 11 23.1 .448 .667 4.8 1.5 11.8
1964 Boston 10 28.9 .384 .795 4.3 3.2 15.7
1965 Boston 12 33.8 .352 .836 7.3 2.4 18.5
1966 Boston 17 42.3 .409 .841 9.1 4.1 23.6
1967 Boston 9 36.7 .448 .803 8.1 3.1 27.4
1968 Boston 19 45.4 .452 .828 8.6 7.5 25.9
1969 Boston 18 47.2 .445 .855 9.9 5.6 25.4
1972 Boston 11 47.0 .460 .859 8.4 6.4 27.4
1973 Boston 12 39.9 .477 .824 5.2 5.4 23.8
1974 Boston 18 45.1 .484 .881 6.4 6.0 1.3 .3 27.1
1975 Boston 11 42.2 .432 .868 5.2 4.6 1.5 .1 21.1
1976 Boston 15 33.7 .444 .809 3.7 3.4 .8 .3 13.2
1977 Boston 9 41.7 .371 .820 5.4 6.9 .9 .4 18.3
Career 172 39.9 .436 .836 6.9 4.8 1.1 .3 22.0

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/summer/1960/BAS/mens-basketball.html
  2. ^ Johnson, Dave (26 February 1994). "Dad's Legacy Shadows Havlicek". Daily Press. Retrieved 22 August 2012. 

External links[edit]