TLBTV: Comfortably Zoned – RIP John Havlicek, Boston Celtic Hall of Famer

Ralph, & CZN's Jerry Feitelberg Discuss "The Man They Called Hondo"

Comfortably Zoned – RIP John Havlicek, Boston Celtic Hall of Famer

Your Host: Ralph Tyko

Ralph, & CZN’s Jerry Feitelberg, discuss the illustrious career of the man they called Hondo.

John Joseph Havlicek (April 8, 1940 – April 25, 2019) was an 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 National Basketball Association he is one of four players to have won eight championships in their playing careers; only teammates Bill Russell and Sam Jones have won more, with 11 and 10 championships respectively. Havlicek is also one of three NBA players with an unsurpassed 8–0 record in NBA Finals series outcomes.[3] Havlicek is widely considered to have been 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.[4].

Havlicek played college basketball at Ohio State University with future seven-time NBA All-Star Jerry Lucas, who was his roommate, future first-round NBA draft pick Larry Siegfried, future coaching legend Bobby Knight, and Mel Nowell, among many others. The 1960 Ohio State Buckeyes, coached by head coach Fred Taylor and assistant coaches Jack Graf and Frank Truitt, won the 1960 NCAA title. Havlicek was named as an alternate of the 1960 United States national team that competed in the 1960 Summer Olympics.

Havlicek was drafted by both the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League 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” (inspired by the 1953 movie of the same name starring John Wayne),[8] 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 on April 15, 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 1965 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.[8] 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.[8] Veteran referee Earl Strom, who wrote about this in his memoir “Calling the Shots”, called Havlicek’s reaction one of the greatest plays he ever saw in his 32 years as a professional official.[9] Announcer Johnny Most‘s call of “Havlicek stole the ball!” was dubbed by the NBA as “the most famous radio call in basketball history.”[10]

NOTE: The above info and the black & white image originated on Wikipedia, and more can be found at … John Havlicek

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