The dominance of Boston sports has been well documented over the past couple decades. Since 2000, the New England Patriots have won six Super Bowls, the Boston Celtics have won an NBA Championship, the Boston Red Sox have won four World Series titles and the Boston Bruins have won one Stanley Cup.
This success is nothing new for Boston, though, as the city has a rich history of winning sports teams. And you can't be that dominant without fielding some all-time great players. With that in mind, here are the five best athletes in Boston sports history.
5. Larry Bird, Boston Celtics (1979-1992)
The wait for Larry Bird was more than worth it for the Celtics. "Larry Legend" was an All-Star in 12 of his 13 NBA seasons (only missing in an injury-shortened 1988-89 season), and he helped lead Boston to three NBA Championships. To this day Bird remains the all-time franchise leader in offensive win shares (86.8).
4. Bill Russell, Boston Celtics (1956-1969)
Bill Russell's eleven championship rings are still one of the most impressive feats the sports world has ever seen. He didn't just happen to be playing on great teams during his 13-year career though, he was carrying those teams. Russell led the NBA in rebounds per game five times, finishing his career with an average of 15.1 points, 22.5 boards and 4.3 assists per game. There's a reason he's also a five-time NBA MVP.
3. Ted Williams, Boston Red Sox (1939-1942, 1946-1960)
Ted Williams' career was broken up by military service in World War II, but he never missed a beat. He led the majors in home runs in each of the two seasons before that (1941 and '42), and then did the same in two of the first four seasons after he returned ('47 and '49). He led the American League in slugging percentage nine times in his career, including in each of the six seasons he played between '41 and '49. The 18-time All-Star holds the second-highest career slugging percentage (.634) in MLB history, trailing only Babe Ruth.
2. Bobby Orr, Boston Bruins (1966-1976)
Bobby Orr didn't spend as much time in Boston as some of the other players on this list, but he made the most of his 10 seasons. Orr won eight consecutive Norris Trophies (awarded to the top defenseman in the NHL), and he remains the only player in league history to win the award eight times. He also led the NHL in assists five times, in points twice and led the Bruins to two Stanley Cups.
1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots (2000-2019)
Boston fans may still be reeling from Tom Brady leaving, but it's hard to deny his spot on this list. Winning six Super Bowl rings in this era of the NFL is almost unfathomable, and even when he wasn't winning rings he was coming close. In 18 years with Brady under center, the Patriots made it to the AFC Championship Game 13 times. A three-time NFL MVP, Brady also has the second-most passing yards (74,571) and touchdowns (541) as well as the fifth-best career passer rating (97.0) in league history.
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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.