clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

You Tube Gold: Havlicek Stole The Ball!

Boston Celtics John Havlicek...
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 25: Boston Celtics John Havlicek, left, and Los Angeles Lakers Gene Wiley, right, jump during a game at the Boston Garden, April 25, 1965.
Photo by Dan Goshtigian/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

John Havlicek was a unique basketball player. At 6-5 he could play guard or forward and was invaluable early in his career as a classic sixth man.

More amazingly, as Sam Jones will tell you in a minute, the guy could run for hours and not get tired. He said he would be amazed that Havlicek didn’t even sweat well into games.

That guy meant nonstop motion.

He was a huge part of the first Celtics dynasty and then was the keystone that Red Auerbach rebuilt around after Bill Russell retired. He had a 16-year career and said that if he had known Larry Bird was coming along he might have played a bit longer.

All this is to say that he was extraordinary and had many memorable moments.

Yet the most memorable of all was when he stepped up to steal the last inbounds of the 1965 season and - stole the ball and the game - and left broadcaster Johnny Most yelling “Havlicek stole the ball! Havlicek stole the ball! Havlicek stole the ball!”

Words that still resound today as one of the most iconic plays - and play calls - of all time.