8-time NBA champ John Havlicek dies at age 79

BOSTON — John Havlicek’s legacy was built over 16 years with the Boston Celtics, eight of them as NBA champions, making him among the best to ever play the game.

One play immortalized him forever.

“Havlicek stole the ball! Havlicek stole the ball!” Celtics radio announcer Johnny Most screamed as Havlicek’s steal of Hal Greer’s inbounds pass helped the Celtics hold off Philadelphia in the 1965 Eastern Conference finals.

The Celtics said Havlicek died Thursday in Jupiter, Fla. He was 79. The cause of death wasn’t immediately available. The Boston Globe said he had Parkinson’s disease.

Nicknamed “Hondo” for his resemblance to John Wayne, Havlicek was the MVP of the 1974 Finals and set Celtics career records for points and games. He was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history and enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1984.

At Ohio State, he helped lead the Buckeyes to the 1960 national championship, beating Cal 75-55 in the final.

In his NBA career, he scored 26,395 points in 1,270 games and played in 13 All-Star Games.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/8-time-NBA-champ-John-Havlicek-dies-at-age-79-13797100.php.

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