The Celtics are honoring legendary Boston guard John Havlicek for Friday night’s Game 3 against the Bucks by wearing black warmup T-shirts with his retired No. 17 emblazoned on the front. The 8-time NBA champ lost his battle with Parkinson’s at age 79 in his Jupiter (Fla.) home on April 25.
According to John Karalis of Mass Live, assistant coaches and staff members are also wearing lapel pins with the number on them.
“As good as he was as a basketball player and as good as the highlights are and as good as everybody says he was live, just a better guy,” Brad Stevens recently said. “Humble. You would have never known he was a Hall of Famer and an all-time Celtic. He was just a proud granddad and dad and husband and just a really good human being.”
Fans at TD Garden also honored him with a moment of silence.
Havlicek averaged 20.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists in his 16-year career with the Celtics. He was the point guard for a historic run for the franchise, which included Hall of Fame efforts from Bill Russell on the court and Red Auerbach as coach.
He is the teams’ all-time leading scorer with 26,395 points, was named to the All-Star team 13 times and was the 1974 Finals MVP. That came against Milwaukee in a 7-game series, which ended with a 102-87 victory in Game 7 for Boston’s 12th title at the time.
The 6-foot-5 former Ohio State Buckeye played in at least 75 games in every season of his career, including all 82 games five times. He led the league in minutes played twice and played more than 40 minutes per game in five seasons.
Head coach Brad Stevens and company are seeking a 2-1 series lead against the Bucks, who are the No. 1 seed in the entire NBA Playoffs.