Who were the 40 best Celtics’ players of all time?

Who do you think where the 40 greatest players for the Boston Celtics? I think Robert Cohen made many of the right choices in his new book The 40 greatest players in Boston Celtics basketball history.

Published by Down East Books, this is a very entertaining read. Having been a Celtics fan from my very earliest days, I certainly think he got it right with the top four: Bill Russell, Larry Bird, John Havlicek, and Bob Cousy.

Cohen’s book provides lots of details about the lives and careers of these 40 great players, along with a history of the Celtics which came into existence on June 6, 1946. That was in the Basketball Association of America which eventually merged with its rival the National Basketball League at the conclusion of the 1948 – 49 campaign to form the National Basketball Association.

Coincidentally, I was born in1948. So the Celtics are as old as I am. Yikes!

I especially enjoyed the many photographs of these great players and their coaches including the very first one of Red Auerbach flanked by Bill Russell and Tommy Heinsohn.

Not content to just choose the 40 greatest players, Cohen, at the end of the book, picks an all-time Celtics first team and second team. And I think he got that right too.

This book would be a great Christmas present for anybody who loves the Celtics. And isn’t that all of us?


George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website, georgesmithmaine.com, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.