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Greatest Query Week: can Jayson Tatum be part of the Celtics’ Mt. Rushmore?

“I might like to be on the Mount Rushmore of Celtics,” Jayson Tatum advised The Messenger’s Jeff Goodman earlier this month. “[Larry] Fowl, [Bill] Russell, Paul Pierce and people guys. They paved the best way.”

Tatum’s chat with Goodman made its rounds all through the Celtics group for good purpose. He had loads of encouraging ideas to share, together with aspirations to win titles, be named to All-Defensive groups, and naturally, be thought-about amongst the storied franchise’s greats.

The Celtics might need the steepest Mt. Rushmore to climb of any NBA workforce. The Lakers’ could also be simply as steep, in equity to these purple and gold freaks. However, in all seriousness, it’s no easy process to be thought-about one of many 4 best Celtics to placed on the uniform. It’s not even simple to choose the 4 greatest, as you’re all going to inform me after I lay out mine in a second.

With all of that being stated, Tatum is somebody who actually has the power to get himself to that time, however he’s nonetheless bought loads of work to do.

(Boston, MA, 05/01/17) Boston Celtics players’ retired number banners hang from rafters at TD Garden on Monday, May 01, 2017. Celtics ownership confirmed that the NBA franchise has future plans to retire Paul Pierce’s number 34. Staff photo by Christ

Boston Celtics retired numbers
Picture by Christopher Evans/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald through Getty Pictures

Which 4 gamers make up the Boston Celtics present Mt. Rushmore?

Earlier than figuring out what it’ll take for Tatum to hitch three different Celtic greats on the workforce’s Mt. Rushmore, we first have to put out who’s already there. Boston has had so many legendary gamers who’ve helped them increase the 17 banners that dangle above the parquet flooring at TD Backyard. It’s robust to choose simply 4.

NBA 50 Greatest Players

Invoice Russell & Larry Fowl, Boston Celtics
Picture by Ron Hoskins/NBAE through Getty Pictures

Absolutely the locks:

Properly, the 2 within the image above are there, unquestionably. I’m undecided there’s any fan who would argue that Invoice Russell and Larry Fowl don’t belong on the Mt. Rushmore of the best Boston Celtics.

Invoice Russell

Russell was the unique Celtic nice — it’d be not possible to have a Mt. Rushmore with out him. He had one of the best profession of any participant to don the inexperienced and white. Russell is taken into account by many to be the best winner in all of sports activities. He spent 12 seasons enjoying for the Cs and led Boston to 11 of their 17 NBA championships. Russell additionally served because the first-ever player-coach for his closing two championship runs.

No. 6 was named to the NBA All-Star workforce in each single yr that he performed. He additionally took dwelling 5 MVP awards and was named to 11 All-NBA groups, in addition to the NBA’s fiftieth and Seventy fifth-anniversary groups.

Russell averaged 15.1 factors, 22.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per sport over the course of his illustrious profession. His defensive numbers — particularly blocks — would’ve been otherworldly, had they stored monitor of these stats when he performed.

Larry Fowl

Fowl is one other lock for Boston’s Mt. Rushmore. He joined the Celtics for the 1979-80 season and instantly made an influence. That workforce gained 61 video games after successful simply 28 the yr prior, with a largely comparable roster. Fowl’s 13-year tenure in Boston was riddled with success because the workforce made the playoffs each season.

The Indiana native led the Celtics to championships 14-16, taking dwelling two Finals MVPs within the course of. On prime of that, Fowl joined Russell and Wilt Chamberlain as the one gamers to win three consecutive MVP awards. He was additionally named to 12 All-Star groups, 10 All-NBA groups, and the NBA’s fiftieth and Seventy fifth-anniversary groups.

Fowl posted averages of 24.3 factors, 10.0 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per sport whereas taking pictures 49.6% from the sphere and 37.6% from distance for his profession.

(06/01/12, Boston, MA) Celtic great John Havlicek embraces Boston Celtics small forward Paul Pierce (34) after the win as the Celtics take on the Heat in game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals at the Garden. Friday, June 01, 2012. (Staff

Paul Pierce & John Havlicek, Boston Celtics.
Picture by Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald through Getty Pictures

The ‘won’t be there without end’ guys:

I used to be going to simply title this class as “the opposite guys” however I didn’t really feel like that was truthful to John Havlicek and Paul Pierce. The franchise’s two main scorers fill the ultimate two slots on my Celtics Mt. Rushmore. However, they won’t be on everyone’s — and that’s okay. In addition they won’t be there without end, whereas Russell and Fowl don’t appear to be shifting.

John Havlicek

Havlicek is third on the Mt. Rushmore energy rankings. He was a key a part of the success of the Russell-led Celtics groups but in addition served as the top of the snake within the years after Invoice’s retirement. Hondo’s groups gained titles within the 1974 and 1976 seasons, serving to to proceed Boston’s successful custom. In complete, he captured eight NBA championships over the course of 15 seasons.

The person accolades have been there as nicely. Havlicek earned 13 All-Star choices, and 11 All-NBA choices, gained Finals MVP in 1974, and was named to each the NBA’s fiftieth and Seventy fifth-anniversary groups.

For his profession, Havlicek averaged 20.8 factors, 6.3 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per sport. His sustained scoring output has him trying down in any respect different Celtics because the franchise’s main scorer.

Paul Pierce

Pierce is the participant that will almost definitely have his spot taken by Tatum. In a franchise the place success is closely measured by championships, the Inglewood native has only one. In 2008, he took dwelling the Finals MVP as Boston captured its seventeenth NBA title.

Although Pierce wasn’t capable of deliver the Celtics to the promised land once more, he did function a serious determine within the workforce’s newer historical past. For starters, he helped them return to prominence after the darkish ages of the mid-to-late Nineteen Nineties. The Fact spearheaded a complete new period of Celtics basketball, changing into a hero to most of the youthful followers — together with myself. He spent 15 seasons in Boston, then performed one other 4 elsewhere earlier than retiring.

No. 34 earned 10 All-Star choices, All-NBA choices, and a range to the NBA’s Seventy fifth anniversary workforce. Pierce averaged 19.7 factors, 5.6 rebounds, and three.5 assists per sport whereas taking pictures 44.5% from the sphere and 36.8% from deep. He sits simply behind Havlicek as Boston’s second-all-time main scorer. On prime of all of that, the commerce that ended his Celtics tenure is the explanation that Tatum is even part of the group.

Boston Celtics

Pink Auerbach & Tommy Heinsohn

Honorable Mentions:

Tommy Heinsohn and Pink Auerbach would most likely be on my Mt. Rushmore if it wasn’t purely based mostly on enjoying careers — to not say that Tommy’s wasn’t spectacular.

Auerbach is the patriarch of Celtics basketball and performed a key function within the workforce’s sustained success all through its historical past. He coached the Russell-led juggernauts and helped to assemble the Eighties Huge 3.

As for Tommy, he simply merely dominated. He was inducted into the Basketball Corridor of Fame as a participant and as a coach — and can seemingly be honored as a broadcaster down the road. He’s most likely the best Celtic ever when it comes to embodying what anybody who places on the jersey ought to attempt to be for the franchise.

Milwaukee Bucks v Boston Celtics

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics.
Picture by Brian Babineau/NBAE through Getty Pictures

What’s it going to take for Jayson Tatum to earn a spot on Boston’s Mt. Rushmore?

Properly for starters, he’s going to should win a title. Tatum stated it himself throughout his sit-down with Goodman.

“The one factor all these guys have is chips,” he stated. “I’ve to get to the highest of the mountain to even be thought-about as a kind of guys. I wish to be an all-time nice. I wish to be often called a winner.”

Proper now, Tatum is in a bizarre spot the place he’s positively one of the gifted gamers the franchise has ever seen — most likely essentially the most gifted since Fowl — however he hasn’t gained a championship. There’s no Celtic who has had Tatum’s expertise who hasn’t gained a title with the workforce — at the very least me and my 24-year-old mind can’t consider any.

So far as resume constructing goes, he’s achieved a wonderful job in his early profession. The previous Duke star has been to the playoffs in every of his six seasons and has solely did not make the Japanese Convention Finals twice. In 2022, he spearheaded the Celtics make their first Finals look in 12 seasons.

Personally, I believe he’d have the ability to handle to edge Pierce off of the Mt. Rushmore with only one title if he performs his total profession in Boston. However, with the quantity of expertise he possesses plus the supporting casts he’s had the fortune of enjoying with, one championship looks as if it’d be a little bit of an underachievement.

Tatum will actually start to carve out a spot with two or three championships in Boston. If he’s capable of win these, then he may very nicely be part of Russell and Fowl as a Mt. Rushmore lock. After all, you’d should think about that if No. 0 has that quantity of success and performs out his NBA profession with the Celtics then he’d ultimately overtake Havlicek because the franchise’s main scorer as nicely.

What do you suppose? What’s it going to take for Tatum to be part of Boston’s Mt. Rushmore? Who do you have got in yours? Do you suppose I’m an fool?

Let me know within the feedback, thanks for studying!



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