ESPN boston: Hall of Fame

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ESPN Boston Hall of Fame

The five inductees to the inaugural class of the ESPN Boston Hall of Fame (with percent of the nearly 50,000 fan votes):

1. Larry Bird (73.8%)
2. Ted Williams (69.0%)
3. Bill Russell (64.0%)
4. Bobby Orr (50.2%)
5. Red Auerbach (46.4%)

And here are the next five, the early favorites for the 2012 Hall class:

Rocky Marciano (24.1%)
Carl Yastrzemski (19.4%)
Ray Bourque (18.0%)
Pedro Martinez (16.2%)
Bob Cousy (12.5%)

So ... how do you think you did?

Note: The panel considered only players, coaches and executives who are retired or inactive.


• Photo gallery: Meet the Hall of Fame nominees Photo Gallery

• Chris Forsberg: About the Boston Hall of Fame

The Hall of Fame panel


FEATURES, OPINIONS

• Howard Bryant: Transformative moments Video

• Mike Reiss: Saving a spot for Brady & Co. Video

• Bill Simmons Sr.: Larry Bird tribute Video

• Gordon Edes: Curious case of Clemens Video

• Jackie MacMullan: The Buckner moment Video

• Hot Button: Who's No. 1, Russell or Orr? Video

• Joe McDonald: O'Reilly was original dirt dog Video

• Chris Forsberg: Beyond the franchise players Video

• Media wing: They connect us with games Video


PANELISTS DEFEND THEIR TOP 5

• Jackie MacMullan: Red did it all Video

• Howard Bryant: Parcells laid foundation Video

• Mike Reiss: Boston Sports 101 Video

• Chris Forsberg: Yaz filled Ted's shoes Video

• Joe McDonald: Cousy a game changer Video


TEAM-BY-TEAM TOP 5s

• Red Sox: Greats from Cy to Pedro Video

• Patriots: Bledsoe, Bruschi make list Video

• Celtics: Plenty to choose from Video

• Bruins: Orr, Neely lead way Video

• Best of: High schools | Colleges

Top 10 teams of last 10 years | Rank 'em


VIDEOS

Which recent championship was greatest? Video

Worst moments in Boston sports Video

Potential media wing nominations Video

Narrowing the field down to 20 Video

Where is the love? Who got left out Video

Where are the championship Patriots? Video


Oh, but to be only Celtics

If there were an all-green wing of the HOF, here's what the first class might look like


By Chris Forsberg
ESPNBoston.com

Hall of Fame candidates
ESPNBoston.com
Our panel debates who should be No. 1?  Watch Video

In creating an ESPN Boston Hall of Fame this summer, we're asking readers to help induct five non-active athletes. And while many could make a good case for having at least four Celtics on their final list, our inaugural class isn't likely to be composed entirely of hardwood heroes. Nonetheless, here's a look at the five non-active legends who would make up our first class of a Celtics wing of the Hall ... if there were to be such a tribute:

Bill Russell

The iconic image of Russell, chin in hands, with seven of his 11 championship rings decorating his digits, doesn't reveal the whole story. But it tells you pretty much all you need to know to land him here. Russell was the greatest Celtic to grace the court, and he did so much more off it for the city of Boston.

Video

Cast your votes now!   Watch Watch Video

Photo gallery

Check out the 20 candidates for the
ESPN Boston Hall of Fame:   Gallery Photo Gallery

Red Auerbach

Nine other coaches have more career wins, but here's what those others don't have: Nine championship rings. (OK, Phil Jackson has 11, but he switched teams. The other seven have eight titles combined, five of which belong to Pat Riley.) Auerbach, who won 938 regular-season games in 20 seasons and another 99 playoff contests, had the NBA's Coach of the Year award named in his honor. Simply put, he built the Celtics' empire.

Larry Bird

Let's start with the obvious: Bird is a three-time champion and two-time Finals MVP, three-time league MVP, 12-time All-Star and nine-time All-NBA first-team member. He averaged 24.3 points, 10 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game over a 13-year career. Maybe the best all-around player the franchise has seen, Bird was slowed only by injuries.

Bob Cousy

After winning an NCAA title at Holy Cross, Cousy transformed the point guard position in the NBA with his ballhandling and passing skills. The "Houdini of the Hardwood" helped Boston to six NBA titles and was the MVP of the 1957 season. A 13-time All-Star, Cousy averaged 18.4 points and 7.5 assists in 924 career games.

John Havlicek

Everyone knows about Hondo's scoring legacy: He's the Celtics' all-time leader in points (26,395) and games (1,270). But it's his all-around impact that lands him here. Havlicek averaged 20.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists during his 16-year career. He was an eight-time champion, 13-time All-Star and a five-time member of the NBA's All-Defensive first-team.

Best of the rest:

Tom Heinsohn (1967 Rookie of the Year, six-time All-Star, eight-time NBA champion, 427 wins in nine years as coach -- including two championships -- and Celtics broadcaster); Sam Jones (10-time NBA champ and five-time All-Star); and Dave Cowens (1971 Rookie of the Year, two-time NBA champ, 1973 MVP and seven-time All-Star).