Ainge: ’85-86 Celtics team ‘greatest of all time’


Ainge: ’85-86 Celtics team ‘greatest of all time’

BOSTON – Is the 1985-1986 Celtics team the greatest of all-time?

Celtics legend Larry Bird was kind of wishy-washy on the subject when Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy asked him about it recently.

"I don't know about all time, but it was by far the best I ever played on," Bird told Shaughnessy. "When I went to training camp, I knew that if we stayed healthy, no one could come close to beating us."

Bird’s teammate Danny Ainge was a bit more direct in his response when the same question was asked of him during 98.5 The Sports Hub’s "Toucher & Rich" show.

“I do think so, yeah,” Ainge said. “I think it’s the greatest of all time. Larry and Kevin [McHale] were two of the best players in the league at that time. Larry was MVP that year. Those two guys, because they were in the middle of their prime in that season, more than just the names of the players on the team, that was probably the biggest reason why we were the greatest team of all time.”

The ’85-86 Celtics finished with 67 wins, one short of tying the franchise record, and a roster that included five future Hall of Famers (Bird, McHale, Dennis Johnson, Robert Parish and Bill Walton).


Marcus Smart reveals what has surprised him most about Kemba Walker

Marcus Smart reveals what has surprised him most about Kemba Walker

Marcus Smart knew what the Boston Celtics were getting when they signed Kemba Walker over the summer.

Walker has built a reputation for his leadership and ability to score at will, so Smart wasn't surprised to see those qualities carry over into Boston. But there was one aspect of Walker's game that did catch Smart off guard.

"Yeah, his defense," Smart told The Players' Tribune when asked what surprised him most about Walker. "And for little guards that score the ball and have the ball in their hands like Kemba, you don't really see that often with guys playing defense."

Watch the full clip below:

Walker certainly has made an impact defensively for the C's thus far, all while averaging 22.6 points through the first 13 games of the season. Plus, there's no doubt he's been a breath of fresh air within Boston's locker room.

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Ranking the top 10 Celtics 'agitators' of the past decade

NBC Sports Boston Illustration

Ranking the top 10 Celtics 'agitators' of the past decade

BOSTON --  When Doc Rivers coached the Boston Celtics, he would often talk about advice he received from the late Red Auerbach who spoke to him about the importance of having a few guys on the roster who were “agitators;” that is, guys who consistently found a way to get underneath the skin of opposing players. 

There are plenty of players through the years who fit that description who played for the Celtics. 

But for our purposes, we’ll focus on the last decade, one in which agitators played a pivotal role in the team’s success even after the 2008 title run.

In keeping with honoring the best of the best during the 2010s, here we have a list of the Celtics’ top-10 agitators of the past decade with their years in Boston in parentheses. 

Click here to see A. Sherrod Blakely's full list of Celtics agitators.>>>

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