New York, April 26: Boston Celtics Hall of Famer and eight-time NBA champion John Havlicek died at the age of 79, the team announced on Thursday (April 25).
Havlicek was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in his later years but no immediate cause of death has been released.
The 13-time All-Star was part of a Celtics team that won four successive titles from 1963 to 1967.
"John was kind and considerate, humble and gracious," the Celtics wrote in a statement. "He was a champion in every sense, and as we join his family, friends, and fans in mourning his loss, we are thankful for all the joy and inspiration he brought to us."
It is with great sadness we have learned that Celtics Legend and Hall of Famer John Havlicek has passed away peacefully today at the age of 79. He will be dearly missed by his Celtics family.April 26, 2019
"John Havlicek was a wonderful friend who represented the best of the NBA," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.
"He described himself as a man of routine and discipline — a humble approach that produced extraordinary results, including eight NBA championships with the Boston Celtics, 13 All-Star selections and some of the most iconic moments in league history.
"A trusted team-mate who prioritised winning, John's passion and energy endeared him to basketball fans and made him a model for generations of NBA players. We send our deepest sympathies to John's wife, Beth, his son, Chris, and his daughter, Jill, as well as the entire Celtics organisation."
It is getting difficult each time I hear about another contemporary that passes! What is harder is when we lose guys like John Havlicek, he was not just a teammate & a great guy, but he was family. That is how our @celtics teams were. #RIP Hondo @NBA #RIPJohnHavlicek @NBAonTNT pic.twitter.com/VP9MGPjrmZ— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) April 26, 2019
He was drafted out of Ohio State in 1962 after spending his college years playing alongside coaching icon Bobby Knight.
The Buckeyes won the national championship in 1960.
One of the most prolific "sixth men" in NBA history, long-time guard/forward Havlicek played alongside former NBA head coach Don Nelson in Boston and Hall of Famer Bill Russell.
He averaged 20.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.8 assists in his career.