Another Celtics legend’s birthday has arrived. This time it’s for the clutch shooter Jo Jo White who turned 66 years old today.
For fans who don’t know him, White was a staple for the Celtics during the 1970s.
In 1969, the 6’3″ point guard was drafted out of the University of Kansas by legendary Celtics coach Red Auerbach. He was part of the Kansas team that went up against Texas Western and their all-black starting lineup, which inspired the movie Glory Road. Kansas ended up losing a double overtime thriller to Texas Western, in the Midwest regional final (Texas Western went on to win the championship).
When White was drafted, Celtics’ legend Bill Russell was on his way out as player/coach. The 1970s would start off slow where the Celtics would miss the playoffs for two season. However the tide would start changing when White, along with Dave Cowens, and John Havlicek would lead the C’s to two championships during the 1974 and 1976 seasons.
During White’s career he made the All Star team seven straight seasons from 1971 to 1977. He would also finish in the top ten in assists for five consecutive seasons from 1972 to 1977.
However, the biggest moment in his career occurred during the 1976 NBA Finals against the Phoenix Suns. In Game 5, he scored 33 points in 60 minutes during a thrilling triple-overtime victory, which is considered by many fans and media personalities to be the greatest game in NBA history. His performance earned him the NBA Finals MVP award.
In 1982, the Celtics retired his number 10 to the Boston Garden rafters to live forever among the team’s greats.
It’s also interesting to note that White isn’t in the Hall of Fame, but according to Basketball Reference, he has the highest Hall of Fame probability rate among players who played pre-1990.
Here is a video of White making a game winning shot against the Philadelphia 76ers during Game 1 of the 1977 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals:
Picture is from the author of this blog’s personal media library. Some rights reserved.