Read the Celtics’ statement on the passing of John Havlicek

"He was a champion in every sense."

Boston Celtics general manager Red Auerbach hugs the stars of the team's 1968 NBA Championship win over the Los Angeles Lakers — Bill Russell, left, and John Havlicek, right.

Boston Celtics great John Havlicek died Thursday in Jupiter, Florida at age 79.

Havlicek holds the team’s all-time record for points and games played, among other marks. The “Havlicek stole the ball” call by announcer Johnny Most during the 1965 Eastern Conference finals is immortalized in sports history.

The Celtics released a statement, declaring that Havlicek 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.”

Read the full statement:

John Havlicek is one of the most accomplished players in Boston Celtics history, and the face of many of the franchise’s signature moments. He was a great champion both on the court and in the community, winning 8 NBA championships and an NBA Finals MVP, while holding Celtics career records for points scored and games played.

Named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, he is enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame and his retired #17 hangs in the Garden rafters. His defining traits as a player were his relentless hustle and wholehearted commitment to team over self. He was extraordinarily thoughtful and generous, both on a personal level and for those in need, as illustrated by his commitment to raising money for The Genesis Foundation for Children for over three decades through his fishing tournament.

John was kind and considerate, humble and gracious. 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.