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High praise for Paul Pierce from the man in front of him

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Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Think of all the great Celtics: Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Bill Russell, Bob Cousy, Dave Cowens, John Havlicek.

In terms of one-on-one play, Havlicek, Boston's career high scorer, thinks none were as good as Paul Pierce.

During an interview at the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, the man they called Hondo says Pierce was the best.

"I wish him well. He’s one of the best all-around players and the thing I marveled at was his one-on-one ability. I think he’s the best one-on-one player of all Celtics." Havlicek told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. Havlicek has the credentials to say it. He is the highest scorer in Celtic history and Pierce is right behind him at No. 2. He also spans eras, having played with Russell, Cousy, Cowens and JoJo White and finished his career with eight championship rings.

Havlicek said he was disappointed Pierce didn't end his career in Boston but understood the attraction of Brooklyn.

"I think he wanted to (stay) but circumstances changed and he was able to sort of give himself another shot (at a championship) so you can't blame him for that," said Havlicek of Pierce.