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Out of the 17 teams the NBA originally consisted of upon its official creation in 1949, only eight are still active today and only two have never relocated or change their names.
Since the birth of the franchise, the Boston players have been donning green jerseys and shorts with white accents for away games and white outfits with green trims at home.
More recently, with the increasing influence of marketing and licensed products sales, “alternate” jerseys and uniforms have been worn on occasions. Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in the current alternate green and black uniforms. The logo showing a Leprechaun spinning a basketball was first designed by Zang, Red Auerbach’s brother, in the late 1960s. Even if the team’s first home game was actually played at the Boston Arena, it is the Boston Madison Square Garden (known as the Boston Garden), a 15,000-seat arena inaugurated in 1928, which is widely regarded as the original Celtics’ home court.
Since 1995, the Celtics play their home games at the TD Garden (formally known as the FleetCenter and TD Banknorth Garden).
The rich history of the Boston Celtics is closely linked to that of one man in particular, legendary coach, General Manager and club president Arnold “Red” Auerbach.
After another heartbreaking loss in the 1956 playoffs, Auerbach felt that they needed a player to reinforce their defense, a center who would get more rebounds and help initiate fast-breaks. Coach Auerbach retired at the end of 1965-66 season, and Bill Russell took over as head coach while still playing with the team. Bill Russell retired in 1969, both as a player and a coach, and for the first time in over a decade, the 1969-70 season was a losing one for the Celtics who failed to make the playoffs. With a new owner in place, Auerbach had the opportunity to make a series of decisive moves. Under new coach and former player K.C Jones, the C’s immediately got back to the Finals in 1984 in which they defeated Magic Johnson’s Lakers for their 15th championship. But in spite of all their talent, success was about to elude the Celtics for the next 22 years. After Reggie Lewis’ untimely death in 1993, a promising small forward that many viewed as Bird’s successor as the face of the franchise, the Celtics entered the gloomiest period of their history.
In 2009, Garnett was back, center Kendrick Perkins had blossomed into a real presence in the paint and Boston went straight back to the NBA Finals, meeting once again with the Los Angeles Lakers. The addition of former All-stars Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal in 2010 had little impact as the two accumulated injuries and poor performances throughout the season. They entered the 2011-12 season with a starting line-up of Rajon Rondo, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jermaine O’Neal. Bob Cousy, Bill Russell, Bill Sharman, Frank Ramsey, Tom Heinsohn and veterans Andy Phillip and Arnie Risen have all been inducted in the basketball Hall of Fame. Cousy and Sharman had retired, leaving a backcourt tandem of K.C Jones and Sam Jones at the helm.
After a hard-fought 7 game series against the Philadelphia 76ers in the Conference Finals, Beantown beat the Lakers to wrap up their 7th consecutive championship. Among players, other Hall of Famers include: Tiny Archibald (with the team from 1978 to ’83), Dave Cowens (1970-80), Bailey Howell (’66-’70) and Dennis Johnson (’83-’90).
To this day, power forward John Havlicek is the franchise’s best all-time scorer with 26 395 points and was the first player to score 1,000+ points in 16 consecutive seasons. Bird is the third best scorer in the history of the franchise, but has the best average of the three with 24.3 ppg. Paul Pierce has recently become the second best scorer of the franchise but is also number one in attempted and made free throws, in attempted and made 3-point shots, in front of Antoine Walker and Ray Allen, and second in steals just behind Larry Bird.
Beside Hall of Fame honors, Celtics players have also been awarded numerous individual awards. Three Boston Celtics coaches were named Coach of the Year: Red Auerbach in 1965, Tim Heinsohn in 1972 and Bill Fitch in 1980.
After a lock-out shortened the season to 66 games, the Boston Celtics have started on Christmas Day with a loss to the New York Knicks at the Madison Square Garden.
The starting line-up at the beginning of the season included C Jermaine O’Neal, PF Kevin Garnett, SF Paul Pierce, SG Ray Allen and PG Rajon Rondo. On March, 22nd, center Chris Wilcox, who couldn’t play due to a heart condition, was cut and the Celtics signed Cleveland Cavaliers center Ryan Hollins who now plays with #50.
Paul Pierce is currently the team’s best scorer with a 18.9 ppg average (13th in the NBA), followed by Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
Doc Rivers is the current head coach assisted by Armond Hill, Kevin Eastman and Mike Longabardi. Having won 17 championships, the Boston Celtics are one of the better-known and most supported sport franchises in the world.
The Celtics were the first franchise to draft an African-American, Chuck Cooper, and also the first to line up an all-black starting five consisting of Bill Russell, Sam Jones, K.C.
The attendance, despite being very low in the early beginnings (around 2,000 per game in the first year of Red Auerbach’s tenure as head coach) broke the 10,000 average mark twice, during the 1956-57 and 1966-67 seasons. Since the Celtics have been playing in the TD Garden (1995), the average attendance has fluctuated between 17,000 and 18,000.
The Boston Celtics are a legendary organization and their recent success has put them firmly back on the NBA map, where fans hope they will remain for a long time.
The Boston Garden parquet floor was put in in 1946 by DiNatale Flooring, a company owned by Anthony DiNatale in the neighboring town of Brookline. US President Calvin Coolidge was the first person to officially turn on the lights of the Boston Garden in 1928. Red Auerbach used a rule that no longer exist to draft Larry Bird as a junior in the 1978 draft. Another rule bears Larry’s name, the Larry Bird exception rule, which allows a team to exceed its salary cap to resign a free agent currently on its roster, even if Larry Legend was never directly in such a situation. Bill Russell had 51 Rebounds against Syracuse on Feb, 5, 1960 which is the 2nd best performance of all-time on an entire game, but holds the record on a half, with 32 boards against the Philadelphia Warriors on Nov, 16 1967.
Bob Cousy holds the record for most assists in a game with 19 in a game against the Minneapolis Lakers on Feb, 27 1959. The Celtics hold the record (tied with the Phoenix Suns) for most points scored in regulation. Bill Russell and Larry Bird are two of the three NBA players who were named League MVP three years in a row. When he became head coach, Auerbach asked his players to wear black sneakers (Chuck Taylor All-Star to be exact) when the rest of the NBA was wearing white, simply because black sneakers were getting dirty less easily.
In 2003, when the whole league had come to wearing black sneakers, Paul Pierce had the idea of wearing white sneakers with their home uniforms. Brown, as part of the BAA (Basketball Association of America), the Boston Celtics currently play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Division.
The name “Boston” was displayed on the front of the jerseys for the first two NBA seasons before it was replaced by “Celtics” in 1951. Some include black trims instead of the traditional white ones with the word “Boston” replacing the name of the club.
Even if it has undergone a few changes and tweaks, it still remains the Celtics’ main logo today. The arena that sits almost 19,000 is located at 100 Legends Way in downtown, Boston and has a parquet floor reminiscent of the original Garden’s.


Brown was looking for a coach to help build a truly competitive team in what were the early days of the NBA. Unfortunately, and despite another good season, the Celtics fell again to the Knicks in the playoffs. That’s when he stunned the League by trading bona fide star center Macaulay for a draft pick with which he selected University of San Francisco rebounding and defensive big man Bill Russell.
The Celtics uncharacteristically lost in the Eastern Division Finals on his first season but managed to add two more NBA titles, in 1968 and 1969, gathering 11 titles in 13 seasons, an unparalleled record in any American professional sports. They had acquired Bill Walton, an excellent passing center, in the offseason and posted an impressive 67-15 record on the season. In 1994, a starting line-up consisting of 35-year-old Dominique Wilkins, Dee Brown, Croatian Dino Radja, Sherman Douglas and rookie Eric Montross barely made the playoffs and was swept in the first round by Shaq O’Neal’s Orlando Magic. Rajon Rondo really emerged as an All-Star during post-season but the purple and gold ultimately prevailed after coming back from 13 points down in Game 7.
Doc Rivers’ men were eliminated from the playoffs by the Miami Heat in the second round with Shaq playing very little and retiring at the end of the season. Ed Macauley, who had been the starting center for the Celtics until he was traded for draft picks used to acquire Bill Russell is also an Hall of Fame inductee. Tom Sanders was playing alongside Bill Russell and Tom Heinsohn in the frontcourt and the Celtics dominated with their iron-clad defense. Larry Bird’s pals finished 67-15 that year, posting what was then the third best single-season record of all-time. The front office and coaching staffs have also been recognized with Hall of Fame honors: legendary coach, GM and club President Red Auerbach was inducted as well as Walter A.
Four of them have been League MVP: Bob Cousy (1956-57), Bill Russell (’57-‘58, ‘60-’61, ’61-’62, ’62-’63, ’64-’65), Dave Cowens (’72-’73) and Larry Bird (three times in a row from ’83-’84 to ’85-’86). After a rough start, they are currently 27-22, tied with the Philadelphia 76ers for first place in the Atlantic Division (but lost the tie-breaker) and 7th in the Eastern Division, 12 games back of the leader Chicago Bulls. O’Neal aggravated a wrist injured on February 20th that turned out to be season-ending and Brandon Bass has taken his place in the starting 5. Kevin Garnett is the leading rebounder (25th in the NBA) with a little over 8 boards per game. The director of Basketball Operations is former player Danny Ainge, who since 2007, also operates as General Manager. They’re also among the most hated ones, the players having often been criticized in the 1960s and again the 1980s for being arrogant trash-talkers.
From the 1972-73 season on, the average attendance regularly hovered above 10,000 until reaching full capacity (15,000) in Larry Bird’s rookie season. Even though Bird elected to stay with the University of Indiana for his senior year, the Celtics still held exclusive rights to him until the 1979 draft.
The longest winning streak at home is 31 games from Dec ’85 to April ’86 (2nd best all-time) and includes a 4-game streak of winning by 20+ points. Boston has won 8 of the confrontations while the Lakers have claimed 3 including the most recent one in 2010. With a record 17 NBA championship rings, they are the most successful NBA franchise ever as well as one of the most dominant team in all of sports. The “Original Celtics” a New York-based basketball team had been incredibly dominant in the 1920s and Brown felt the name would carry the appropriate weight while appealing to the large Massachusetts Irish community. Since 2007, the players occasionally wear gold-trimmed uniforms that were first used as part of St Patrick’s Day celebrations.
At the time, the coach was responsible for all aspects of basketball operations, from team practices to the recruitment of players.
The same scenario would happen again for the five next years, with the team making the playoffs every year but failing to reach the finals. For the first time in their history, the Celtics made the Finals and went on to defeat the St Louis Hawks to claim their first ever NBA Championship.
The acquisition of center Dave Cowens (drafted in 1970), forward Paul Silas (traded in 1972) and guard Jo Jo White (drafted in 1969) allowed them to quickly become dominant again.
This caused a dispute with Auerbach, who was firmly opposed to the move, and almost resigned over it. The next year, he acquired center Robert Parish from Golden State and drafted University of Minnesota power forward Kevin McHale. In 1985, the men in green met again with the Lakers in the Finals, but this time L.A prevailed, for the first time ever against Boston. They won their 16th championship against the Houston Rockets, while Bird was named NBA MVP for the third time in a row and Walton earned the 6th Man of the Year honors. In the 1986 Draft, the Celtics selected University of Maryland star Len Bias, hoping the young man who fans viewed as the next superstar would ensure the future of the franchise. In spite of all the positive changes, Boston would still have to wait until 2007 to find their way back to success. The association of Paul Pierce, Allen and Garnett instantly developed into a new Big Three, especially with Garnett bringing new defensive, hard-work ethic to the team.
The most decisive move had been the acquisition of Bill Walton, considered by many as the best passing center in the league, but whose career was plagued by injuries, to team up with reigning League MVP Bird and an all-star cast of Robert Parish, Kevin McHale and Scott Wedman. Bill Russell is the all-time rebounding leader with 21,620 rebounds, while Robert Parish leads the block department. Their longevity, success and hard-work ethic have contributed to making them one of the most iconic teams in American sports. He also decided to adopt the traditional Irish colors of green and white, that they still wear today. Brown hired Auerbach, who had coached the US Navy team during WWII, on April 27th, 1950, just days before the draft.
After barely missing on back to back titles, when falling to the Hawks in the 1958 Finals, the Celtics came back roaring, winning the next eight NBA titles in a row, a record that still holds today. Auerbach, now general manager, hired former player Tom Heinsohn as the new head coach and after losing in the Conference Finals in 1972 and 1973, the C’s captured their 12th and 13th championships in 1974 and 1976. Rather than incur the anger of Bostonians, who massively supported the former head coach, Brown chose to step down and sold the team. The hiring of star college coach Rick Pitino as club president, director of basketball operations and head coach in 1997 did little to better the situation. After the best single-season turnaround in NBA history (they improved by 24 wins), the Celtics reached the NBA Finals and defeated their nemesis Los Angeles Lakers in 6 games. With perennial Sixth Man John Havlicek coming from the bench, the C’s finished with a 62-20 record, 13 games ahead of their Western Conference rivals Los Angeles Lakers. Larry Legend played one of the best seasons of his stellar career, ranking in the top 10 players of the league in five categories: 4th in scoring, 7th in rebounding, 9th in steals, 1st in free throw percentage and 4th in 3-point percentage, while also leading the team in assists.
Kevin Garnett was voted best Defensive Player of the Year in 2008 and both Kevin McHale and Bill Walton were honored as Sixth Men of the Year. 9 of these meetings will be against teams that currently rank higher in the Eastern Conference standings, including three games against the Miami Heat and two against the Atlanta Hawks. Rondo has registered 4 triple-doubles this year and he’s the only NBA player to have more than one on the season. The new coach immediately set out to build a fast-pace offense and fast-break-oriented team around center Ed Macauley, forward Bones McKinney and point guard and local star Bob Cousy.


Everything was set for the Celtics to dominate the league once again and under head coach Bill Fitch, they captured their 14th title in 1981 by defeating the Houston Rockets. In 1987, the Celtics still managed to make the NBA Finals but lost to the Lakers for the second time.
The following season, they posted an impressive 62-20 record but lost Garnett to injury for the playoffs and had to give in to the Orlando Magic in the Conference Finals.
The 1956-57 season stands out as an exceptional one for the Celtics, bringing about their first NBA title, the MVP trophy to Cousy and the Rookie of the Year award to Heinsohn. He was crowned MVP for the third time in a row, an honor only Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain had been granted. As a result, the Celtics made the playoffs for the first time ever but lost in the Division semi-finals to the New York Knicks. Boston won the title by defeating the Houston Rockets in 6 games, Larry Bird posting a triple-double in the Game 6 114-97 victory. They lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in the Conference Finals in ‘82 and were swept by the Milwaukee Bucks in the second round in ’83. They made it to the Eastern Conference for the last time in 1988, losing to the Detroit Pistons’ Bad Boys. Pitino resigned in 2001 and Jim O’Brien got the head coaching job, leading the team to their first playoff appearance since 1995. The rest of Larry Bird’s career was plagued by injuries and back pains and he eventually retired in 1992, after winning the gold medal in the Barcelona Olympics with the “Dream Team”. The Big 3 era ended for good in 1994, when Kevin McHale retired and Robert Parish went to play with the Charlotte Hornets.
Boston and Philadelphia battled all season for the top spot in the Atlantic Division, and the Celtics' win over the 76ers on the final day gave them the title with a 62-20 record.The two teams faced off in the Eastern Conference Finals. Behind Julius Erving, Philadelphia took the lead after four games, but Boston evened the series with back-to-back two-point wins in Games 5 and 6.
Bird nailed a jump shot late in Game 7 to give the Celtics a 91-90 victory and a trip to the Finals.Boston faced an upstart Houston squad in the Finals. The Rockets, who had finished the regular season with a 40-42 record, had somehow emerged victorious from the Western Conference.
The Celtics won 63 games during the 1981-82 season, but they lost the chance to repeat as champions when they were eliminated by the 76ers in the Eastern Conference Finals. The next year saw them slip to second place in the Atlantic Division behind Philadelphia and then stumble out of the playoffs at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks, who swept the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.The team's playoff failures and growing dissension among the players cost Bill Fitch his coaching job. Jones left the frontcourt of Larry Bird, Cedric Maxwell, and Robert Parish intact, but he remade the backcourt, bringing over Dennis Johnson from Phoenix and moving Gerald Henderson into the starting lineup.
Kevin McHale provided instant offense off the bench.The Celtics won 62 games during the regular season. Bird won the first of three consecutive NBA Most Valuable Player Awards, and McHale won the first of two straight NBA Sixth Man Awards.
With the first-round bye privilege eliminated from the playoffs, Boston downed Washington, New York, and Milwaukee to earn the right to play the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1984 NBA Finals.Los Angeles rolled into the Finals with an 11-3 postseason record and beat Boston handily in Game 1.
A last-second steal and layup by Gerald Henderson put the Celtics into overtime in the next contest, and they came away with a 124-121 victory. After a drubbing in Game 3, Boston eked out yet another overtime win in Game 4 to even the series at two games apiece. The Celtics had never lost a seventh game in the NBA Finals, and Los Angeles was unable to break the string. Jones did some tinkering with his powerful team during the offseason, sending Gerald Henderson to the Seattle SuperSonics and installing Danny Ainge in the starting lineup.
McHale contributed 19.8 points per game and won the Sixth Man Award, also for the second consecutive year. The entire 1984-85 regular season seemed to be a prelude to a rematch of the previous year's Finals, as Boston powered its way to 63 wins and Los Angeles notched 62 victories. Neither team was challenged in the first three rounds of the playoffs.The Boston-Los Angeles matchup in the NBA Finals marked the ninth time that the two teams had squared off in the championship round. Boston rode roughshod over the league, then lost only one game in the first three rounds of the playoffs. Los Angeles had been stunned by Houston in the Western Conference Finals, so the Celtics found themselves facing the Rockets in the 1986 NBA Finals. Despite Houston's "Twin Towers," Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson, Boston took the series in six games. 2 pick in the 1986 NBA Draft and took forward Len Bias, a promising young player from Maryland.
By the time the playoffs rolled around, the wear and tear was beginning to take its toll.Larry Bird, however, provided one of the greatest moments in playoff history in the conference finals against Detroit. The Pistons had a one-point lead and possession of the ball with five seconds left in the pivotal Game 5 at Boston Garden. Detroit won Game 6, but the Celtics prevailed in Game 7, 117-114, to advance.After surviving their duel with the Pistons, Boston faced the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals for the third time in four seasons. The Lakers' "Showtime" offense was firing on all cylinders, however, and Los Angeles took the series in six games.The Celtics team that took the floor for the 1987-88 season was not a youthful squad. The Celtics' slim hopes of a good season slipped away when, after only six games, Bird opted for surgery to remove painful bone spurs from his feet. The Celtics had averaged 61 wins a season in his nine years with the team; they fell to 42 victories without their star and were swept in the first round of the playoffs by Detroit. The club showed a 10-game improvement over the previous season, finishing second to Philadelphia in the Atlantic Division with a 52-30 record. Facing the New York Knicks in the first round of the playoffs, Boston jumped out to a two-games-to-none lead after running up 157 points in Game 2. But the Celtics couldn't keep up with New York and Patrick Ewing, and the Knicks eliminated them with three straight victories.Chris Ford took over the coaching reins prior to the 1990-91 season. He installed a running offense that was triggered by the return of Shaw, who, together with Reggie Lewis, gave the Celtics a pair of athletic young speedsters in the backcourt.
Boston zoomed out to a 29-5 record but struggled through the second half of the season when Larry Bird developed back problems. The slump carried over into the playoffs, in which Indiana and Chuck Person took Boston to the limit in the first round. The Celtics advanced, but they fell to the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.Ford somehow coaxed a first-place finish out of his 1991-92 team. Lewis emerged as the team's leader, averaging 20.8 points and driving the Celtics to 15 wins in the season's final 16 games.
Boston and New York finished with identical 51-31 records, but the Celtics owned the tie-breaking advantage and claimed the division title.The Celtics swept the Indiana Pacers in the opening round of the postseason but were bounced by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the conference semifinals.



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