ESPN Cuts Six Celtics, Adds Three To List Of NBA’s 50 Greatest Players

Former Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce

Photo via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images

When the NBA in 1997 revealed its list of the 50 greatest players, there were a whopping 11 Boston Celtics who made the cut.

But ESPN’s The Undefeated on Friday published its updated — or “remix” version — of that list, and Green Teamers might be upset with the final product.

Here are the Celtics who appeared on the original list:

— Larry Bird
— Nate Archibald
— Bob Cousy
— Dave Cowens
— John Havlicek
— Sam Jones
— Bill Sharman
— Kevin McHale
— Robert Parish
— Bill Russell
— Bill Walton

Of course, not all these players played their entire careers as Celtics, but they’re generally remembered most for their years in Boston. Now, some of these legends survived The Undefeated’s update, but others weren’t so lucky. Here are the Celtics who made the new list, including three noteworthy additions:

— Larry Bird
— Bob Cousy
— John Havlicek
— Kevin McHale
— Bill Russell
Ray Allen
Kevin Garnett
Paul Pierce

Again, Allen, Garnett and Pierce weren’t Celtics lifers, but they still won their first NBA championships in Beantown. And Pierce, in particular, is making sure he’s remembered as a Celtic, first and foremost.

Listen, we understand that Celtics fans might be ticked off by this new list, but there had to be sacrifices to make room for the likes of Pierce, Allen and Garnett, not to mention players such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan.

And who knows, maybe when another list is compiled 20 years down the road, a few more Celtics will be on it, such as Kyrie Irving or Gordon Hayward.

Thumbnail photo via Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports Images

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