Celtics legend John Havlicek has died the age of 79, the team announced Thursday night.
The eight-time NBA champion and an NBA finals MVP lost his long battle with Parkinson’s Disease, according to reports. He died in his home in Jupiter, Fla.
The 6-foot-5 guard, who played his entire career (1962-78) in Boston, holds Celtics records for points scored (26,395) and games played (1,270). The Hall of Famer averaged 20.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists and was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history.
His No. 17 is retired by the Celtics.
“His defining traits as a player were his relentless hustle and wholehearted commitment to team over self,” the Celtics said in a statement. “He was extraordinarily thoughtful and generous, both on a personal level and for those in need, as illustrated by his commitment to raising money for The Genesis Foundation for Children for over three decades through his fishing tournament.
“John was kind and considerate, humble and gracious. He was a champion in every sense, and as we join his family, friends, and fans in mourning his loss, we are thankful for all the joy and inspiration he brought to us.”
Havlicek, who played his college ball at Ohio State, is best known for his steal with five seconds left to end Game 7 of the 1965 Eastern Conference finals against the 76ers. The play is accompanied by one of the most famous call in sports history when Celtics broadcaster Johnny Most yelled “Havlicek stole the ball.”