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The Boston Celtics have established themselves as one of the premier NBA franchises, boasting a rich history filled with Hall of Fame players and successful coaches. They share the record for the most championships in league history, showcasing their enduring greatness. Despite a disappointing finish to the previous season, the Celtics entered the current season with renewed optimism, looking forward to brighter days ahead.
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The Boston Celtics have a proud history and remain a formidable force in the NBA. Check out the latest Celtics stats and Boston Celtics standings to see how they are performing this season. With a talented roster and a rich tradition, the Celtics are always a team to watch.
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The Celtics have a long and storied history, including 17 NBA titles, which ties them with the Los Angeles Lakers for the most all-time. There are 49 players and coaches with ties to the franchise that are enshrined in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame as well.
The Celtics have won 17 NBA titles, nine conference titles and 31 division titles (the league wasn’t broken up into divisions within conferences until the 1970-71 season). Boston is the winningest franchise in regards to the regular season, recording more than 3,400 wins – one of only two franchises in NBA history to record more than 3,000 regular-season victories.
Boston is one of the few NBA franchises to never move from its original home city. The franchise was formed in 1946, joining the Basketball Association of America, then moving to the NBA when the BAA merged with the National Basketball League in 1949.
Championships Won by the Boston Celtics
The team won 11 of their titles in a 13-year span from 1957 to 1969, with Red Auerbach serving as head coach for the first nine of those championships. Players like Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, Tom Heinsohn and John Havlicek helped power the league’s first dynasty, and Russell served as player/coach for the final two championships in the run.
Boston won two NBA titles in the 1970s under Heinsohn, who was the team’s head coach. In 1974, they defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in seven games. Two years later, they won again by defeating the Phoenix Suns.
The club had a resurgence with the arrival of forward Larry Bird for the 1979-80 season. Bird, along with fellow future Hall of Famers Tiny Archibald, Robert Parish, Kevin McHale and Dennis Johnson, led Boston to five NBA Finals appearances and three league titles in the 1980s.
The Celtics had a 20-year gap between Finals appearances before the trio of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett led the Celtics to the 2007-08 championship and an appearance in the 2010 NBA Finals, the team’s last trip to the league’s championship series.
Important Team Events
One of the most important events in Boston Celtics history was the acquisition in a trade of Bill Russell in 1956. Russell was the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft out of San Francisco and immediately made the Celtics title contenders every year he played for them. His leadership on the defensive end and on the boards had Boston in the mix for the championship every season he was on the team.
Another big moment for the franchise was the drafting of Larry Bird one season before he came out of college. In 1978, Bird was a junior-eligible for the draft at the age of 22 when he was selected with the sixth pick in the draft by the Celtics. Bird went back to Indiana State for his senior season but was still Boston’s to sign when he joined the NBA. He helped turn around the franchise and lead the team to three NBA titles in the 1980s.
A third significant moment in the franchise’s history was then-general manager Danny Ainge making trades for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in 2007. The acquisitions of the two All-Stars and pairing them with All-Star forward Paul Pierce made the Celtics immediate title contenders, and they won the championship in their first season together. Boston also made the Finals in 2010, falling to their long-time rivals, the Lakers.
Some of the greatest players in NBA history have made their names in the Celtics’ Green, including 20 members of the recently-named 75th Anniversary Team.
Leading the way is the player who some believe is the greatest winner in all of team sports, Bill Russell. The big man’s 11 championships in 13 professional seasons are good enough to make him one of the best ever, but he also averaged 22.5 rebounds and controlled the game on both ends of the floor. Russell’s place in NBA history is shown by the fact the Finals MVP award is named after him.
Forward Larry Bird is one of the greatest clutch shooters in NBA history, and his passing was another major facet of his all-around game. Bird won three straight league MVP awards in the 1980s and led the Celtics to three NBA titles.
Paul Pierce also gained a reputation as one of the best clutch players in NBA history, hitting multiple late-game shots during his 15 seasons with Boston. Speaking of one of the NBA’s best, Bob Cousy set the early standard for point guard in the league with his ball-handling and passing ability on the first Celtics championship squads.
How well-revered is former Celtics coach Red Auerbach? The NBA has named the league’s Coach of the Year award after him.
Auerbach won the award just once after it started being handed out in the 1962-63 season, but part of that is because of the amount of talent on the Celtics, which Auerbach helped assemble. Auerbach won nine NBA titles in his 16 seasons as the franchise’s head coach, then moved to the front office to become the team’s general manager for 18 years.
Former Celtics players Tom Heinsohn and KC Jones both won multiple titles with the team as head coach. Heinsohn was the 1972-73 NBA Coach of the Year and won the NBA title in 1974 and 1976, ranking second behind Auerbach for most regular-season wins with 427. Jones was the head coach for the Celtics’ titles in 1984 and 1986, winning 308 games in the regular season during his five seasons at the helm.
Doc Rivers never played for the Celtics, but he was a former player and got Boston an NBA title in 2008 as head coach. Rivers coached Boston from 2004-05 to 20012-13, winning 416 regular-season games and also reaching the NBA Finals in 2010.
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Boston Celtics Frequently Asked Questions
John Havlicek, who scored 26,395 points during his career with the Celtics.
Four players have won the NBA MVP award while playing for the Celtics: Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, Dave Cowens and Larry Bird.
The Celtics have appeared in the NBA Finals 21 times.
Red Auerbach has the most coaching wins in Celtics history with 795
Three Celtics players have won the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award: Tommy Heinsohn (1956-57), Dave Cowens (1970-71) and Larry Bird (1979-80).