Danny Ainge on passing of John Havlicek: ‘He was a great friend'


Boston Celtics' President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge reflected on his "great friend" John Havlicek, after the former Celtics legend passed away on Thursday.

Ainge, appearing on 98.5 the Sports Hub's "Toucher and Rich," made a number of comments about what Havlicek meant to the Celtics, to him, and to the sport of basketball.

"John, obviously, with his 16 year career with the Celtics [was] one of the great players in our history. When I was a young player drafted into the Celtics, coming to a really good team in the middle of the year, not [playing] too well, not getting too many opportunities to play, John took me out to dinner, he encouraged me, and told me how good I [could] be...he was a great friend. We played golf at Weston Country Club where he was a member. My wife and I spent some time with John and Beth Havlicek on vacation a few times. He's just the nicest man. He's one of the few Celtics who just admired the players of the era...the new era of the 1980s. He was just trying to build everybody up. I remember as a kid he was a hero of mine...watching him play for the Celtics. But more than anything, I'll always remember John as one of the nicest people and greatest friends around."

Havlicek played for the Celtics from 1962-1978. His number, 17, was retired by the Celtics immediately after his retirement.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Contact Us