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NBA legend John Havlicek dies at 79

Havlicek played 16 seasons in the NBA, all with the Celtics.

The NBA named Havlicek on its list of the 50 greatest players to play in the league.

“John Havlicek is one of the most accomplished players in Boston Celtics history, and the face of many of the franchise’s signature moments,” a statement from the Celtics reads “He was a great champion both on the court and in the community, winning 8 NBA championships and an NBA Finals MVP, while holding Celtics career records for points scored and games played.” A shooting guard and small forward, Havlicek averaged 20.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.2 steals over his career.

A tremendous athlete, he was selected in the seventh round of the 1962 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns, the same year the Celtics chose him in the first round of the NBA draft.

Havlicek did much of his damage off the bench as a sixth man in his early years during the Celtics dynasty who often found himself in the game at crunch time.

Known for his stamina and endurance, Havlicek regularly thrived by outlasting his opponents on the court.

The Celtics would go on to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers that year for the NBA championship.

As the legends Havlicek joined in Boston aged and retired, he became the focal point of the team after the Russell dynasty.

He eventually led Boston to another NBA title in 1974, where he was named NBA Finals MVP. Havlicek was also a key member of the 1976 Celtics team that would win him his final championship before he retired in 1978.

The Boston Herald reports that Havlicek, who had battled Parkinson’s Disease, caught pneumonia three weeks ago and died after his family placed him in hospice care on Wednesday.

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