Honorable Mentions: Bill Russell, Robert Parish, Paul Pierce
How do you pick one player to define the most successful franchise in the history of the NBA? A simple answer might be to go for the league’s ultimate winner, Bill Russell. Or you could go for one of the greatest clutch players ever and the defining Celtic of this generation, Paul Pierce.
Instead though, I’ve opted for the guy who it feels like epitomizes not just the Celtics as an organization, but the city of Boston as a whole. The fact that he hails from Indiana might even be a sign of just how much he was destined to end up as arguably Beantown’s greatest hero.
Larry Bird is one of those few players who has earned the right to have his name mentioned in basketball Mount Rushmore discussions, but what made him special as a Celtic was the fact that he matched his imperious skill with the attitude of the city he bore across his chest.
Larry Bird just throws the ball in the air and God moves the basket underneath it. – Howie Chizek
Behind all the smarts and the magnificence of his game from afar, Bird had the toughness to grind it out. His determination, will to win and willingness to tell folks about his winning left Bird hated by opposing fans across the country, but it played a big part in pulling his team together to claim three titles. An everyman mount for a player with other-worldly skill. The Hick from French Lick is Boston strong.
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