Celtics

Celtics

It remains the defining moment in Hall of Famer John Havlicek's career, one of the great moments in Celtics history as well as one of the iconic calls in sports broadcast history.

"Havlicek stole the ball!"

Celtics radio voice Johnny Most's call still echoes for C's fans of a certain age - and younger ones who have heard it paired with the grainy, black and white video - as he described the play that clinched the 1965 NBA Eastern Conference Finals for Boston 55 years ago today.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Celtics news and analysis

On the latest episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast, Celtics legend Tommy Heinsohn recalled the play and the greatness of his friend and teammate Havlicek, who died almost a year ago (April 25).

Listen and subscribe to the Celtics Talk Podcast:

Bill Russell's mistake (a "boo-boo" Heinsohn called it) of hitting his inbound pass off the guide wire of the backboard at the Boston Garden turned the ball over to Philadelphia with four seconds left as the Celtics clung to a one-point lead.

During a timeout in the huddle, Heinsohn recalled Russell saying, "Boy, did I screw up. Somebody get me off the hook."

To the rescue came Havlicek. 

"Havlicek, as smart a defender as he was, told me and told everybody else afterward, he was counting [as Hal Greer inbounded the ball] 'one, two, three, four,' and on four, he went to look for the ball and it was there," Heinsohn said. "That's how precise he was in defending." 

 

With the ball secured, Havlicek tipped it over Sam Jones as time ran out and a series-clinching 110-109 victory over the Wilt Chamberlain-led 76ers was secured.

Heinsohn was not only a teammate and roommate of Havlicek, he also got the opportunity to coach him. So, who better to put Hondo's career into perspective? 

Listen to Heinsohn's memories of his friend, teammate and the player he coached on this episode of the Celtics Talk Podcast. You can also view it on YouTube: