Sportress of Blogitude

Celtics to honor memory of John Havlicek with ’17’ or ‘Hondo’ jersey patch

The Boston Celtics and the NBA lost a true icon Thursday when the legendary John Havlicek passed away at the age of 79.

The Celtics intend honor the memory of the Hall of Famer with jersey patches during the team’s upcoming postseason games.

The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn reported via Twitter Friday that team officials indicated the Celtics plan to add either a “17” or “Hondo” patch to their jerseys.

Havlicek of course wore the No. 17 jersey, which is retired by the Celtics and is memorialized in the rafters at TD Garden. Interestingly, “Hondo,” his nickname, was inspired by the John Wayne film of the same name.

The Celtics’ statement upon Havlicek’s passing left no doubt of the indelible mark he left upon the storied franchise, not to mention illustrates why his death is such a devastating loss.

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.

The Celtics open up their Eastern Conference semifinal showdown with the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday afternoon. It’s unclear whether the patches will be in place by the time of Game 1, but it’s likely that will be the case.