During his prime, in the mid-1970s, White never seemed to tire. He led the team in points and assists in back-to-back seasons, and he played in 488 consecutive games, a Celtics record.
In Game 5 of the 1976 N.B.A. finals, White played 60 of the 63 minutes in a triple-overtime thriller often called the greatest game ever played. He led all players with 33 points and nine assists in a 128-126 victory over the Phoenix Suns. The Celtics went on to win the title in six games, and White was named the most valuable player.
Asked about how he managed to play almost the entire Game 5, White credited his conditioning. “I was tired, but I was conditioned to go the distance,” he said in an interview several years ago. “My thinking was that if I was tired, the other players were close to death.”
From the time he first emerged as a standout player on the national stage, White had an uncanny ability to pull up at the…