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After Much Internal Debate, I Present My Official Celtics Mount Rushmore

I knew it was only a matter of time before a tweet like this came across my desk. I couldn't run from it forever, and because I am a man of integrity who has spent this quarantine answering every tough NBA Twitter debate question in existence, I can't sit this one out. For some franchises, an exercise like this would be easy. But when you're the most iconic and most successful franchise in NBA history (cry about it) it's hard as shit. You could throw up a few different combinations of four and it would make complete sense. That's the type of talent we've been fortunate enough to witness throughout history. There's a chance my four is not the same as your four. I can imagine that age may have some influence in what direction you go, but I'm confident in my selections. 

I will say though, no Red Auerbach as an option is an interesting choice. I know the idea of this tweet was around the players, but that feels like a slight oversight to me. Guy seems pretty important to the history of the franchise but that's a different argument for a different blog. 

Alright, let's dive in

Bill Russell

Uhhhhh ya think? Only perhaps the greatest winner in the history of winning. An 11x Champ, 5x MVP, 12x All Star, 3x All NBA First Team, 8x All NBA Second Team, 1x All NBA Defensive First Team, 4x Rebounding Champ. In terms of Celtics rankings he's

5th in Games Played

1st in total rebounds, would probably be high on the list of blocks if they were even recorded when he played

1st in Defensive Win Shares

1st in Win Shares

6th in Assists

John Havlicek

A few weeks ago in quarantine I did a "1 gotta go" tweet and wayyyyy too many people were picking Havlicek. Not sure if maybe they forgot that he was an 8x Champ, Finals MVP, 13x All Star, 4x All NBA First Team, 7x All NBA Second Team, 5x All NBA Defensive First Team, 3x All NBA Second Team. In terms of Celtics ranks he's

1st in Games Played

1st in Minutes Played

1st in FGM

1st in Points

2nd in Assists

5th in Rebounds

2nd in FTM and FTA

7th in Offensive Win Shares

2nd in Defensive Win Shares

Yeah I think it's safe to put him in the Mount Rushmore. You could make the case he's the second best Celtic ever

Larry Bird

Imagine not having Larry Legend on your Mount Rushmore? I cannot and I won't. Guy is a 3x NBA Champ, 2x NBA Finals MVP, 3x League MVP, 12x All Star, 9x All NBA First Team, 1x All NBA Second Team, 3x All NBA Defensive Second Team, ROU, 3x 3P champ, and a 2x 50-40-90 club member. In terms of Celtics all time rankings he's

8th in Games Played

5th in Minutes Played

2nd in FGM

4th in 3PM

4th in FTA

4th in Rebounds

3rd in Points

3rd in Assists

2nd in Steals

3rd in Blocks

2nd in Win Shares

3rd in Defensive Win Shares

1st in Offensive Win Shares

He also saved the NBA and is considered Basketball Jesus. Now although I am Jewish (see: Greenberg), remember he was on our team first so I feel like I can include that in my reasoning. 

Paul Pierce

This is probably where my list gets most controversial because the first three should be automatic locks for any Celtics fan doing this exercise. Here's the thing. When I think of Mount Rushmore, I want someone from basically every era. The thing is, the accomplishments and numbers back up why I have him included. He's a 1x NBA Champ, Finals MVP, 10x All Star, 1x All NBA Second Team, 3x All NBA Third Team, 1x 3pt Contest champ. Remember though, this isn't an NBA Mount Rushmore it's a Celtics Mount Rushmore, and Pierce's standing in the franchise record books in undeniable

3rd in Games Played

3rd in Minutes Played

3rd in FGM

1st in 3PM

1st in FTM and FTA

7th in Rebounds

5th in Assists

1st in Steals

4th in Blocks

2nd in Points

2nd in Offensive Win Share

4th in Defensive Win Share

3rd in Win Share

I've long said for Celtics fans of my generation, he was our Larry Bird. That's not saying he was as good as Larry, but for those of us who grew up in a post Larry Bird world, he's the best Celtic we've ever seen in person. 

Now, there are a few names that I left out that which hurt me deeply. Sam Jones is absolutely one of them. That guy was a legit monster and an all time great Celtic there's no two ways about it. Same thing with Tommy. Also weird there's no Robert Parish but that's the issue that I noted at the beginning of the blog. Some franchises simply have too many beasts to choose from. I think the older generation maybe bumps Pierce for one of those guys but I think that does a disservice to what Pierce was able to accomplish. He's basically top 4 everywhere you look in franchise history. When I think of a Mount Rushmore I want all eras covered and where you finished in the career leaderboard matters to me. I think my four check both of those boxes. Every era of Celtics basketball is covered and all four guys are near the top of the all time leaderboards. 

P.S.

Already starting to wonder who I bump off this list for Tatum. It'll be the hardest decision of my life I have no doubt.