Celtics legend Jo Jo White dies at 71

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Jan 17 2018 09:58 AM

Boston Celtics legend Jo Jo White. Photo courtesy @celtics.

Former Boston Celtics star Jo Jo White died Tuesday after a battle with brain cancer. He was 71.

White, a seven-time All-Star guard and MVP of the 1976 NBA Finals, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.

"We are terribly saddened by the passing of the great Jo Jo White," the Celtics said in a statement. "He was a champion and a gentleman; supremely talented and brilliant on the court, and endlessly gracious off of it. Jo Jo was a key member of two championship teams, an NBA Finals MVP, a gold medal-winning Olympian, and a Hall of Famer.

"His contributions to the team's championship legacy may have only been surpassed by the deep and lasting impact that he had in the community. The thoughts and sympathies of the entire Celtics organization are with the White family."

The Celtics retired White's No. 10 in 1982, one year after his retirement. White averaged 17.2 points in 837 games over 12 NBA seasons. He entered the NBA in 1969 and spent his first 9 1/2 seasons with the Celtics until he was traded to the Golden State Warriors midway during the 1978-79 season.

He played 1 1/2 seasons with the Warriors and his final one with the Kansas City Kings.

White averaged 21.7 points, 5.8 assists and 4.3 rebounds during the 1976 NBA Finals in a memorable series in which the Celtics defeated the Phoenix Suns in six games. 

White recorded 33 points, nine assists and six rebounds while playing 60 minutes in the triple-overtime Game 5 won by Boston that is considered one of the greatest games in NBA history.

White averaged 21.5 points in 80 career playoff games.

He averaged a career-high 23.1 points for the Celtics during the 1971-72 season.

White was the ninth overall pick of the 1969 NBA draft after starring in college for Kansas. His No. 15 jersey was retired by the school in 2003.

White was a member of the 1968 U.S. Olympic gold-medal winning team in Mexico City.

--Field Level Media