Hall of Famer John Havlicek, the Boston Celtics‘ all-time leading scorer, died Thursday in Jupiter, Florida. He was 79.
Havlicek spent all 16 seasons of his NBA career with the Celtics and won eight NBA titles. He was named to the All-Star team 13 times.
He had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
“Havlicek stole the ball,” is still one of most famed cries in sports history, shouted by announcer Johnny Most in the closing seconds of Game 7 of the 1965 Eastern Conference finals between the defending champion Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers.
“Greer putting the ball in play,” Most said. “He gets it out deep and Havlicek steals it! Over to Sam Jones! Havlicek stole the ball! It’s all over!”
The Celtics called Havlicek “the face of many of the franchise’s signature moments.”
“His defining traits as a player were his relentless hustle and wholehearted commitment to team over self,” a team statement read. “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.”