John “Hondo” Havlicek was a 6’5” shooting guard-small forward who provided vital contributions at the end of the Boston Celtics Dynasty and then went on to win two more titles with the Celtics after Bill Russell had retired and the Dynasty had ended.
Havlicek is known as the player who revolutionized the sixth-man role. He was the first truly great player to come off the bench, saying about his role as sixth man, “It’s not who starts the game, but who finishes it, and I generally was around at the finish.” Hondo embraced his role, and was a true weapon as a 6th man who could change the outcome of a game.
Havlicek accumulated career averages of 20.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists during his 16-year career. He was named to thirteen All-Star teams, eleven All-NBA First or Second Teams, and eight NBA All-Defensive First or Second Teams, won eight NBA Championships, and ended his career as the NBA’s top all-time scorer.
Though he became incredibly successful as a basketball player, Hondo had humble beginnings. Red Auerbach drafted him with low expectations, and Bob Cousy called Havlicek “a non-shooter who would probably burn himself out” after Havlicek’s rookie season. Havlicek spent his illustrious career proving his detractors wrong, and, to this day, remains one of the greatest Celtics of all-time.