The Celtics simply dominated the 1960's. They won the championship every
year except for 1967 when Wilt Chamberlain decided to play team ball
for once. There's nothing more that needs to be said, they dominated the
decade like no other team prior or ever will. Not even Jordan's 90's
Bulls had the longevity the 60's Celtics had. Think the Miami Heat of
today that's been to 4 consecutive NBA Finals are good, try WINNING 8 in
Coach - Bill Russell
With Auerbach already the coach of the 50's, Russell is the next choice. He did win 2 titles as a coach, 1 more than Doc Rivers.
Center - Bill Russell
No brainer here. The greatest winner in NBA history with 11
championships in 13 years and made the NBA finals in 12 of them. If
blocked shots were counted when he played, he could very well be the
all-time leader to this day. He was also the greatest defender that ever
played and a superb rebounder. He changed the game from the hulking,
clumsy centers to the quick footing, shot blocking ones we know today.
Forward - Bailey Howell
He was a hall of fame forward for the Pistons before becoming an
integral part of the late 60's Celtics. Brought over in a trade for the
67 season, Howell played 3 outstanding years before falling off in 1970
due to age and injury. Playing 3 years and winning 2 championships is an
investment well spent.
Forward - Satch Sanders
He was never supposed to be a big scorer but his defense put the clamps
on rival superstars from 1960 all the way to 1973. He took home 9 titles
as a player and was considered one of the best defensive players of the
1960's. Think of him as the Bruce Bowen of his day.
Guard - Sam Jones
Another no-brainer. He was one of the best shooters of the 1960's
retired in 1969 with an amazing 10 world championships, missing an 11th
by one season. He hit many a clutch shot including one that sank the
Lakers in a must-win Game 4 of the 1969 Finals.
Guard - KC Jones
Like Sanders, his role was primarily defense. As a player he won 8 NBA
championships, won 2 as an assistant coach and 2 more as a head coach.
That's 12 rings totals. Can't get much better than that both on the
court and on the sidelines.
Center - Clyde Lovellette
The hall of fame country boy backed up Bob Petit, George Mikan and Bill
Russell and was a hell of a player in college. He won a ring his rookie
year with the Lakers, became a 4 time all-star and took home 2 more
rings in 1963 and 1964 with the Celtics.
Forward - Wayne Embry
Wayne "The Wall" later became a hall of fame general manager but was a
talented center/forward in the late 50's and early 60's. He was a 5 time
all-star for the Cincinnatti Royals (after several name changes,
they're known today as the Sacremento Kings). He was the classic veteran
that gave it his all for one final shot at a championship ring, which
he won in 1968.
Forward - Willie Naulls
Willie was a 4 time all-star for the hapless New York Knicks of the
early 60's before winning 3 rings in a row as a reserve foward from
1964-66. He was no slouch during his career, averaging 25 points a game
Guard - Larry Siegfried
If you notice a pattern, its the fact the Celtics were able to win
championship after championship with guys
that were discarded by other
teams that still had value when used under the right circumstances.
Siegfried is another as he averaged in double figures from 1966-70 as a
backup to the Jones boys.
Guard - Emmette Bryant
Unlike the others, Bryant wasn't an all-star or a future hall of famer
when he was signed prior to the 1969 season. He did lead the Celtics as
the starting point guard when they made their final championship run of
the Russell era. Not bad for a 7th round pick discarded by the Knicks.
Extra - Mel Counts
Counts had a lengthy, productive career that began in Boston. Red
realized with Russell in the way, Counts wouldn't be able to flourish so
he traded Mel to Baltimore for Bailey Howell after two years and two
championships. Later he averaged in double figures for the Lakers. On
any other franchise in the 60's, Counts would have been a star.
12th man - Jim Barnett
Like Mel, Barnett played one year with the Celtics before becoming a
star elsewhere. He posted double figured in scoring 7 consecutive years
between 1969-75. The Celtics left him unprotected in the 1967 expansion
drafts and the San Diego Rockets (now in Houston) gobbled him up. So,
does he belong on the Celtics all-decade team? Yes, but because of
contributions elsewhere. Like Counts, he was never going to become a
star in Boston but he had the talent for sure.
That about wraps up the 60's. There has never been a dominant team
before or since as they won 9 of the 10 titles in the decade, with
different phases of the team. The Cousy-Sharman era drew to a close and
one by one the 50's Celtics retired but the shrewd Auerbach was able to
replenish his troops by bringing in discarded talent. The 70's would be
the toughest decade since the 50's as after Russell and Sam Jones
retired, Red had a lot of work to do. Be sure to follow The Sports Hayes on Twitter.