Bobby Orr squares off against John Havlicek in the quarterfinals of the Boston’s Biggest Sports Legend tournament.
1. Bobby Orr Not many 12-year-olds attract professional hockey scouts, and not many 14-year-olds sign professional hockey contracts. But Bobby Orr wasn’t like most human beings. From a young age until the day he hung ‘em up, Orr was always a step ahead of the pack. Despite playing just nine full NHL seasons, Robert Gordon Orr is regarded as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. The subject of one of the sports world’s most recognizable photos, Orr popped the game-winning goal to seal the 1970 Stanley Cup Finals against the St. Louis Blues. It was the B’s first Cup in 29 years, and Orr took home a plethora of hardware, winning the Norris (best defenseman), Ross (top point scorer), Hart (regular-season MVP) and Conn Smythe (MVP Stanley Cup playoffs) Trophies that season. He went on to secure another Cup for Boston two seasons later and end his career with eight Norris Trophies, two Hart Trophies, two Ross Trophies and 915 points in 657 games played. The 1970-71 campaign turned out to be Orr’s most productive season as he scored 37 goals, had 102 assists and finished the year with a plus-124 rating — an NHL record that still stands to this day.
3. John Havlicek Havlicek stole the ball! It’s all over. … It’s all over! Johnny Havlieck is being mobbed by the fans! It’s all over! Johnny Havlicek stole the ball! Yes, the call still elicits goosebumps, but John Havlicek means much more to Boston than this famous call by the legendary Johnny Most. It takes a lot of skill, endurance and longevity to lead a dynasty, but that’s just what John Havlicek did. Hondo is the Celtics’ all-time leader in points with 26,395 and games with 1,270. A 13-time All-Star, Havlicek retired in 1978, and his No. 17 jersey was immediately retired at the Boston Garden. Six years later, Havlicek was enshrined into the Basketball Hall of Fame. In 1997, he was selected as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.