Thank You, Hondo

CreedBratton

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Dec 6, 2009
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Hondo. Frig so sad. What a legend. Synonymous with the greatest call in basketball history. Havlicek steals the ball
 

scotian1

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Jul 19, 2005
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Sad news for sure. Those of my age were lucky to live in an era where we witnessed so many Championships and so many great players. Havlicek was one of the greatest and who can forget the call of Johnny Most.
 

bosockboy

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Jul 15, 2005
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Mount Rushmore Celtic, which is a big thing. The bridge between Russell and Bird.
Would have won another ring in ‘73 if he was healthy.
 

The Big Red Kahuna

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Grew up going to school with and was good friends with his daughter. He was a legend on the court, but a completely “normal” and down to earth dad at home. This one hurts. RIP Captain.
 

RoDaddy

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I have a lot of great memories watching him play, especially the great two way play (as in first team defensive team while being the top scorer on the team), and his amazing fitness. He often went 48 minutes a game AS A GUARD/SMALL FORWARD!!! And yeah, tough loss in '73 to injury - I believe that C's team had the most wins in franchise history and would've won another if Hondo hadn't gone down
 

snowmanny

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At 53 seconds in you'll see the first thing I think of with Havlicek...the leaner banker against the Suns in Game 5, right before the JoJo Free Throw and the Heard jumper. Just a great player for so many years and a great guy to root for.

 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Mar 26, 2005
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At 53 seconds in you'll see the first thing I think of with Havlicek...the leaner banker against the Suns in Game 5, right before the JoJo Free Throw and the Heard jumper. Just a great player for so many years and a great guy to root for.

Me too. He was my favorite player growing up. That series turned me into a Celtic fan for life.

Legend had it that Hondo ran 8 miles in one game (he played 43 minutes). https://www.si.com/vault/1977/05/16/626712/scorecard.

He was so awesome, particularly since he didn't have the obvious physical gifts of a lot of other players.

RIP.
 

TripleOT

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Jul 4, 2007
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He and Bobby Orr were my first two favorite athletes. When I heard he passed, I thought how lucky I have been to get to see four and a half decades of almost uninterrupted greatness from the wing - Hondo, Bird, and Pierce. I remember that baseline jumper over Jabbar to help get past the Bucks in 1974, and of course the banker in the TripleOT game two years later.

The indefatigable Havlicek, who would run around the court all game to get open for an easy shot, is sadly now at rest.
 

Bob Montgomery's Helmet Hat

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dhappy42

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Favorite Celtic when I was a kid. Liked pretending to be Jo Jo White more, though, because I liked the sound of saying “Jo Jo White.” Where does the nickname “Hondo” come from?
 

Ale Xander

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Oct 31, 2013
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Favorite Celtic when I was a kid. Liked pretending to be Jo Jo White more, though, because I liked the sound of saying “Jo Jo White.” Where does the nickname “Hondo” come from?
John Wayne movie

RIP Hondo. Truly one of the greats, one of the few players I wish I was old enough to have seen play. Celtics family weeps today. Parkinson's sucks.
 

cornwalls@6

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At 53 seconds in you'll see the first thing I think of with Havlicek...the leaner banker against the Suns in Game 5, right before the JoJo Free Throw and the Heard jumper. Just a great player for so many years and a great guy to root for.

I only saw him play in the last 3 or 4 years of his career, but that shot seems like yesterday. Remember vividly watching that game with my father and brother. Also, he and JoJo White were my favorite Celtics of the 70's(I know Cowens was probably the best of the decade, but I loved those guys). Just a great, great player, and overall athlete. RIP Hondo.
 

jacklamabe65

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I was a season-ticket holder in the '70s, and had the honor of watching John play with all of his heart in person on many, many occasions. I always laugh when those who never saw Russ or "Jarring John" play invariably put Larry on top of the C's Everest. Those three immortals would be sharing the turf together, my friends, with Russ on top and John and Larry serving as his two acolytes. Maybe it's because I am now 64, maybe it's because I remember Hondo's entire career with the C's from beginning to end, maybe it's because I saw him play in person over 50 times, but I am a mess today. John, Russ, Dave Cowens, Bobby Orr, Espo, Yaz, Tony C. - they were our Gods. What an Olympus for a kid growing up in Boston to have.
 

Big John

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Great defender at three positions-- maybe the greatest of all time in that role. He scored nearly 27,000 points but I never saw him dunk the ball once, not even in warmups.
 

lexrageorge

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Jul 31, 2007
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I grew up watching the Havlicek/Cowens/JoJo Celtics, and retain fond memories of that team. Played nearly every minute of that epic series against the Bucks in 1974.

In regards to the "might have been's", while he was 37 when he retired and clearly past his prime, he was still an effective player. He did lament the fact that he never got the chance to play with Bird, as he really didn't want to stick around with the team after the disastrous 1977-78 season. In terms of how effective he may have been, there was an NBA Old Timer's game during All Star weekend in 1984, in which Havlicek was running up and down the floor like he was still an active player:

 

snowmanny

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Great defender at three positions-- maybe the greatest of all time in that role. He scored nearly 27,000 points but I never saw him dunk the ball once, not even in warmups.
But in warmups he always made his last shot.
 

JCizzle

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Dec 11, 2006
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I grew up watching the Havlicek/Cowens/JoJo Celtics, and retain fond memories of that team. Played nearly every minute of that epic series against the Bucks in 1974.

In regards to the "might have been's", while he was 37 when he retired and clearly past his prime, he was still an effective player. He did lament the fact that he never got the chance to play with Bird, as he really didn't want to stick around with the team after the disastrous 1977-78 season. In terms of how effective he may have been, there was an NBA Old Timer's game during All Star weekend in 1984, in which Havlicek was running up and down the floor like he was still an active player:

Thanks for sharing that link. Tommy trying to pants that guy was hilarious.
 

Kull

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Nov 1, 2005
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For all his skills, John Havlicek is one of the few guys of whom you can legitimately say "and a better human being".

Interesting note in the above clip - Havlicek was drafted in the 7th round by the Browns (who cut him).
 

Al Zarilla

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One thing unusual about John Havlicek is that he would often play in the 40s of minutes per game and it looked like he didn't even sweat. Perfect athletic shape guy all his life. He came out of Ohio State with Jerry Lucas, who was more heralded, and Larry Sigfried. Red drafted the right one. Surprised?
 

SoxVindaloo

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R.I.P. Hondo. Very Sad. I am 51 years old and Hondo and Cowens were my first Celtics idols as a kid. He always seemed like an incredibly kind and decent person as well.
 

Dotrat

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This is so sad—one of the true icons of Boston sports and the NBA. I have distant but fond memories of watching those early ‘70s Celtics teams and realizing that no one could guard him, not for long anyway.
 

Philip Jeff Frye

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It's always sad when somebody like this passes but the memories that people post in threads like this are one of the best things about SoSH.
 

Dick Pole Upside

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Crushing...
He and Yaz were my first sports idols.
Likewise... and Bobby Orr.

My Dad played college basketball for Harvard in the mid-50’s. Played against the Holy Cross guys (Heinsohn in season and Cousy as a counselor at summer camps) and even Jim Brown the football legend. So I listened to what my Dad had to say about Hondo, who was about 5 years younger. He loved Hondo and Jo Jo White.

“Just watch Havlicek, and don’t take your eyes off of him. He runs... and runs... and runs... and never stops. If you never stop hustling, you will always eventually beat your man.”

Hondo was a marvel. He was a five-tool basketball player, if there even was such a thing. Tough as nails. Indefatigable. Just a joy to watch.

RIP
 

BrunanskysSlide

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Dec 29, 2003
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Tommy did a great interview remembering Hondo. He mentioned they were roommates and I thought he was going to cry. Also he told a good story about Red ripping into Havlicek his first game of his second year and Havlicek really taking it to heart.
 

Doug Beerabelli

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My dad was a point guard in HS at Eastie High, so he was always a Cousy guy. But he'd tell me the best player they ever had was Russell, with Havlicek a close second ( Larry would be there too now). Schooled me on all the Celts greats of the late 50s and 60s. I never saw them play (I was 7 when Hondo retired), but my dad helped me grow to have a great appreciation of all those guys, and do continue that appreciation into their retirements. RIP Hondo.