BOSTON (CBS) – People in Boston and beyond are mourning the death of Celtics legend John Havlicek who died Thursday.
More than a half century after he “stole the ball”, the iconic moment remains unforgettable, one of the most famous plays in NBA history.
While the modern day Celtics get ready for their next big playoff series, news of Havlicek’s passing stuns the organization.
“Humble, you would have never known he was a Hall of Famer and all time Celtic,” Coach Brad Stevens said. “He was just a proud granddad and dad and husband and just a really good human being.”
He’s the Celtics all-time leading scorer, a part of eight championships, but former teammate.
Cedric Maxwell remembers his kindness when he started in Havlicek’s place during his rookie season, and Havlicek’s last.
“I had 21 points, we won and the first person who came up to me after the game was John to tell me how well I had played and what I had done and it showed me what kind of a person he was,” Maxwell said.
John Havlicek was certainly part of the Celtics storied past, but his legacy also resonates with the current team.
“His name rings bells, we know who he is,” Jaylen Brown said. “We know what he’s done for this organization. He’s one of those legends that you aspire to be being a Boston Celtic.”
Thursday night, Boston City Hall glowed green in memory of number 17, a legend secure in the heart of fans.
“That’s sad I feel bad for his family, the organization,” one fan said.
“Enjoyed him and the team greatly,” another fan said. “It’s sad loss for Boston.”
His family thanked fans and the organization for their compassion during his battle with Parkinson’s disease.
“John was a proud man of integrity, moral character, and kindness, and was the Captain of our team,” the Havlicek family said in a statement.