"In all probability the most important disappointment of my profession" – John Havlicek on not making Group USA for the 1960 Olympics


John Havlicek appeared just like the participant who would thrive it doesn’t matter what squad he was thrust into. The Boston Celtics legend turned a star taking part in off the bench in his earlier years and as a starter in a while. As well as, he had no issues serving because the second or third fiddle of the workforce or being the go-to man.

As such, he appeared like an ideal match for the US males’s nationwide basketball workforce. Sadly, he did not get the prospect to signify his nation on the worldwide stage, not making the lower of Group USA’s last roster for the 1960 Olympics. It was a missed alternative that apparently stung him for a very long time.

“That was in all probability the most important disappointment of my athletic profession,” Havlicek told Michael D. McLellan. “I believed I performed extraordinarily properly through the Olympic trials, and I felt that I deserved to be chosen to play on that workforce. The identical argument may very well be made for my teammate, Larry Siegfried. In my thoughts, he performed properly sufficient to be chosen for that workforce.”

“The system was so much totally different again then,” he continued. “The AAU and NCAA have been feuding on the time, and it actually turned a giant political factor after the primary workforce was chosen.”

The star-studded 1960 Olympic workforce

Earlier than the Dream Group took kind in 1992, an identical squad took to the courtroom in 1960, though it consisted of newbie gamers. After dropping in worldwide competitions in earlier years, the US determined to pick out a few of the best athletes from the NCAA and different newbie organizations. However due to politics, solely seven gamers from the NCAA have been chosen, which sadly did not embody NCAA champion Havlicek.

Led by future NBA stars Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Jerry Lucas, and Walt Bellamy, the 1960 Group USA defeated opponents by a median margin of 42.4 factors per recreation on the best way to successful the gold medal versus Brazil within the last spherical.

The roster consisted of 9 NBA gamers, 4 Corridor of Famers (the gamers talked about above), and eight NBA All-Stars, who had a mixed 43 All-Star berths. If Havlicek have been included, these numbers would have been increased.

“Hondo” outpacing the competitors

Curiously, the gamers chosen solely had 4 NBA championships mixed, whereas Havlicek had twice that quantity. His eight rings have him tied for fourth on the record of gamers with essentially the most titles.

Profitable an Olympic gold would have been icing on the cake for “Hondo” and put him within the elite firm of athletes with titles within the NCAA, NBA, and Olympics.

Nonetheless, the 13-time All-Star’s legacy is undamaged. His abilities and famend stamina allowed him to finish a powerful basketball profession that spanned 16 seasons within the NBA.

Associated: Gregg Popovich solely had one image in his workplace, and it was of a Celtics all-time nice


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