All-Time Celtics Team
What is the Celtics' ultimate roster? SI.com's David DuPree picks his 12-man all-time team, with an emphasis on a player's performance in a Celtics uniform (sorry, Bill Walton). Although a Celtics newcomer, Kevin Garnett earned a spot for his instant impact. With apologies to Tom Heinsohn, Don Nelson, K.C. Jones and Satch Sanders, among others, here is DuPree's team.<br><br>He was small and he had absolutely no left hand, but back in the day he was the quintessential point guard, a clever ball handler, passer and game manager who was ahead of his time as a showman. Cousy was All-NBA first team 10 times and played on six Celtics championship teams.
The Celtics' iron man wasn't the smoothest player around, but certainly one of the toughest. He could do everything at both ends of the floor. He played with great intensity, yet never seemed to lose his composure. Havlicek made individual perimeter defense a glamour skill. Clutch time was Havlicek time.
The most prolific winner in the history of professional sports, Russell led the Celtics to 11 titles in 13 seasons, including eight in a row in one stretch. The five-time MVP made everyone better and relished his role as the face of the franchise. The Celtics never believed they could lose with Russell on the floor.
Bird was one of the greatest all-around players ever and one of the most entertaining to watch, a rare mixture of showmanship, cleverness and effectiveness. The three-time MVP was as creative and masterful a scorer the NBA has had, building his game around a soft, feathery jump shot. But he had a whole lot of other moves to go with it, and he was also a great passer and rugged rebounder.
He is the all-around big man who can win games at both ends of the floor, the ultimate team player who leads the minute he walks into the locker room. He has that Russell-like quality of giving teammates confidence and bringing out the best in them. Garnett won the 2004 MVP and was selected as the Defensive Player of the Year this season.
Though undersized as a 6-9 center, he stood toe-to-toe with all of them as a relentless defender and versatile offensive player. He could play in any style and was just as effective away from the basket as he was down on the block. Cowens won an MVP award and two championships with Boston.
The Chief had classic post moves and an almost unblockable, distinctive jump shot. Parish was a big-time rebounder and timely shot-blocker, and he ran the floor exceptionally well for a 7-footer. Though seldom the primary offensive threat, but he was always ready to take over the game when called upon.
Pierce is just as effective at small forward as he is at shooting guard. He is one of the best in the league at creating his own shot and getting to the free-throw line. The six-time All-Star ranks sixth on the Celtics' all-time scoring list.
He wrote the book on low-post play with his masterful footwork. He also made the All-Defensive team six times and is one of only two players in league history (along with Detlef Schrempf) to win back-to back Sixth Man awards. But he was just as effective as a starter.
He is the perfect example of the game being about more than just numbers. Johnson was a great defender, and he always put himself in the right positions at the right time. He wasn't a particularly good shooter, but he made the big shots and he knew how to complement stars.
Jones was deadly in knocking down the mid-range jumper. He was one of the slickest at getting open by moving without the ball. A career 18-point scorer, Jones played on 10 Celtics championship teams.
A classic big scoring point guard, he could control the ball as well as anyone and his outside shot kept teams honest. Detroit's Chauncey Billups is perhaps the current player most in his mold. He loved pressure and his mental toughness helped Boston to two titles between the Bill Russell and Larry Bird eras.
The greatest coach in NBA history, he led the Celtics to nine titles (tying him with Phil Jackson for the most ever), including an unprecedented eight in a row from 1959-66. He managed the game, yet trusted his players to manage themselves within it. He was a phenomenal showman, tactician, leader and developer of men with just the right amount of chutzpah thrown in for good measure.