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As in any test, read the question first - thoroughly. What Cedric Maxwell and Kyle Draper discussed concerning the tweet below is which Celtic is the greatest all-around basketball player. I have no idea if the players are listed in order of greatness, but hopefully not.


I had the pleasure of watching all of these players at the Garden and on TV. This is not a new question for me since I have reviewed it many times over the years. There are few wrong answers, although anyone putting Greg Kite or Kendrick Perkins in the top-5 needs to reconsider.

For me, Bill Russell and Larry Bird get top billing, and I can not separate them. Larry had the more-complete game, but Bill truly dominated in what he did well, mainly defense, rebounding, rim protection, intimidation of opponents and just plain winning. Russ was a versatile, remarkable athlete, as demonstrated in the photo above. Larry was a better marksman, both from the floor and the charity stripe, but Russell averaged 42.3 MPG, 15.1 PPG, 22.5 RPG and 4.3 APG for his career. They tie at number one.


John Havlicek is all by himself at #2. He is considered by many to be one of the best two-way players to ever play the game. In the 1969-70 season, after Russell departed and Dave Cowens replaced him, Jarrin' John averaged an amazing 41.6 MPG, 24.2 PPG, 7.8 RPG and 6.8 APG, all while taking on the toughest opponent every night and only committing an average of 2.6 fouls/game.

I am down to the next two spots on the greatest-all-around Celtic, and the two Kevins, McHale and Garnett are there, and like Bird and Russell, they are very close. Here I give a very slight edge to The Big Ticket due to his mobility and athleticism.


Sitting outside the door looking in are (in no specific order) Dave Cowens, Paul Pierce, Jo Jo White, Sam Jones and Dennis Johnson. For the second unit, arguments can be made for Tommy Heinsohn, Bob Cousy, Bill Sharman and others, but this is my article. This one is wide open, so give us your comments and vote on twitter.




Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Russell photo via AP
Bird photo via Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images

Tom Lane 8/09/2018 07:55:00 AM Edit
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