The top 5 Boston Celtics rookie seasons of all-time

9 Apr 2001: Antoine Walker
9 Apr 2001: Antoine Walker /
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While Boston Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum looks to write his own page in the history books, let’s take a look at the all-time best rookie seasons in green.

Jayson Tatum is having a stellar start to his rookie season for the Boston Celtics, so that got us thinking about the all-time best rookie campaigns. For the Celtics, there has been a ton of talent on the court from the 1950’s to present day, but these 5 have made their debut seasons count the most.

Almost every name on this list is a Boston legend, and Tatum can only hope to one day be among them.

Before I get started, here are the names of a few players that just barely missed the cut on m list. The most intriguing of which may be the last name mentioned.

Honorable Mentions

  • John Havlicek
  • Kevin McHale
  • Tom Heinsohn
  • Bob Cousy
  • Dino Radja
  • Ron Mercer
  • Chauncey Billups

Billups played just 51 games for the Celtics as a rookie in 1997 before he was traded to Toronto. In those games, he averaged 11.1 points, 2.2 rebounds, and 4.3 assists. If he had remained in Boston, it would have been fun to see what he could have done alongside both Antoine Walker and Paul Pierce.

Speaking of Paul Pierce, he gets the listed started as the 5th best Celtics rookie of all-time.

5. Paul Pierce (1998-99): 16.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.7 steals

Paul Pierce will have his #34 retired in the TD Garden rafters this season, and deservedly so. We all know he is one of the greatest basketball players of all-time to wear the Boston Celtics uniform, and he got things started on the right foot. In his 1998-99 rookie campaign, Pierce was a monster alongside 2-year veteran Antoine Walker. The Celtics looked like they were building a team to compete in the East once again.

Pierce wound up playing 15 seasons in Celtics green before he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets. He also played for the Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers. He retired after the 2016-17 season with career averages of 19.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. The Truth was a ten-time All-Star, 2008 NBA Champion, Finals MVP, and was selected to the All-NBA team four times. He currently ranks #4 all-time in made 3-pointers behind only former teammate Jason Terry, Reggie Miller, and former teammate Ray Allen. Jayson Tatum can only hope to become that type of Boston legend.