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The Boston Celtics ( ) are an American professional basketball team based in
Boston Boston (, ), officially the City of Boston, is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Massachusetts, most populous city of the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States and 21st List of Unit ...

Boston
. The Celtics compete in the
National Basketball Association The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball sports league, league in North America. The league is composed of 30 teams (29 in the United States and 1 in Canada) and is one of the four major professional sports leagu ...
(NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Atlantic Division. Founded in 1946 as one of the league's original eight teams, the Celtics play their home games at
TD Garden TD Garden is a multi-purpose arena An arena is a large enclosed platform, often circular or oval-shaped, designed to showcase theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usual ...
, which they share with the
National Hockey League The National Hockey League (NHL; french: Ligue nationale de hockey—LNH) is a professional ice hockey sports league, league in North America comprising 32 teams—25 in the United States and 7 in Canada. It is considered to be the premier pr ...
(NHL)'s
Boston Bruins The Boston Bruins are a professional ice hockey Ice hockey is a contact Contact may refer to: Interaction Physical interaction * Contact (geology)A geological contact is a boundary which separates one rock body from another. A contac ...
. The Celtics are regarded as one of the most successful basketball teams in NBA history; the franchise is tied with the
Los Angeles Lakers The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Lakers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference (NBA), Western Conference Pacific Division ...

Los Angeles Lakers
for most NBA Championships won with 17 (accounting for 23.6 percent of all NBA championships since the league's founding) and currently holds the record for the most recorded wins of any NBA team. The Celtics are one of the two charter BAA franchises (the other is the
New York Knicks The New York Knickerbockers, shortened and more commonly referred to as the New York Knicks, are an American professional basketball team based in the Boroughs of New York City, New York City borough of Manhattan. The Knicks compete in the Nat ...
) still playing in their original city. The Celtics have a notable rivalry with the
Los Angeles Lakers The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Lakers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference (NBA), Western Conference Pacific Division ...

Los Angeles Lakers
, which was heavily highlighted throughout the 1960s and 1980s. During the two teams' many match-ups in the 1980s, the Celtics' star,
Larry Bird Larry Joe Bird (born December 7, 1956) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any pe ...
, and the Lakers' star,
Magic Johnson Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. (born August 14, 1959) is an American former professional player and former president of basketball operations of the of the (NBA). Often regarded as the best of all time, Johnson played 13 seasons for the Lake ...

Magic Johnson
, had an ongoing feud. The franchise has played the Lakers a record 12 times in the
NBA Finals The NBA Finals is the annual championship series of the National Basketball Association The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball Professional sports, as opposed to amateur sports, are sport Sport p ...
(including their most recent appearances in
2008 2008 was designated as: *International Year of LanguagesThe United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2008 as the International Year of Languages, pursuant to a resolution of UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultura ...
and
2010 2010 was designated as: * * * *International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures Pronunciation There is a debate among experts and the general public on how to pronounce specific years of the 21st century in English. The year 2010 is pr ...
), of which the Celtics have won nine. Four Celtics players (
Bob Cousy Robert Joseph Cousy (, born August 9, 1928) is an American retired professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, com ...
,
Bill Russell William Felton Russell (born February 12, 1934) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, ...

Bill Russell
,
Dave Cowens David William Cowens (born October 25, 1948) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any p ...
and Larry Bird) have won the
NBA Most Valuable Player Award The National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player Award (MVP) is an annual National Basketball Association (NBA) award given since the 1955–56 NBA season, 1955–56 season to the best performing player of the NBA#Regular season, regul ...
for an NBA record total of 10 MVP awards. Both the nickname "Celtics" and their mascot "Lucky the Leprechaun" are a nod to Boston's historically large Irish population, and also to the
Original Celtics The Original Celtics were a Barnstorm (sports), barnstorming professional American basketball team. At various times in their existence, the team played in the American Basketball League (1925–55), American Basketball League, the Eastern Basketba ...
, a marquee team prior to the NBA. The Celtics' rise to dominance began in the late 1950s, after coach
Red Auerbach Arnold Jacob "Red" Auerbach (September 20, 1917 – October 28, 2006) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Baske ...
acquired
center Center or centre may refer to: Mathematics *Center (geometry) In geometry, a centre (or center) (from Ancient Greek language, Greek ''κέντρον'') of an object is a point in some sense in the middle of the object. According to the speci ...
Bill Russell, who would become the cornerstone of the Celtics dynasty, in a draft day trade in 1956. Led by Russell and superstar
point guard The point guard (PG), also called the one or the point, is one of the five positions in a regulation basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular cou ...
Bob Cousy, the Celtics won their first NBA championship in 1957. Russell, along with a talented supporting cast of future
Hall of Famers A hall, wall, or walk of fame is a list of individuals, achievements, or animals, usually chosen by a group of electors, to mark their Wiktionary:fame, fame in their field. In some cases, these halls of fame consist of actual halls or museums th ...

Hall of Famers
including
John Havlicek John Joseph Havlicek ( ; April 8, 1940 – April 25, 2019) was an American professional basketball player who List of NBA players who have spent their entire career with one franchise, spent his entire career with the Boston Celtics, winning List ...
,
Tom Heinsohn Thomas William Heinsohn (August 26, 1934 – November 9, 2020) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court ...

Tom Heinsohn
, K. C. Jones, Sam Jones,
Satch Sanders Thomas Ernest "Satch" Sanders (born November 8, 1938) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, co ...
, and
Bill Sharman William Walton Sharman (May 25, 1926 – October 25, 2013) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court ...

Bill Sharman
, would usher the Celtics into the greatest period in franchise history, winning eight consecutive NBA championships throughout the 1960s. After the retirement of Russell in 1969, the Celtics entered a period of rebuilding. Led by center Dave Cowens and point guard
JoJo White Joseph Henry White (November 16, 1946 – January 16, 2018) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A c ...
, the Celtics returned to championship caliber, winning two NBA titles in 1974 and 1976. The Celtics again returned to dominance in the 1980s. Led by the "Big Three" that featured Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and
Robert Parish Robert Lee Parish (born August 30, 1953) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any pe ...

Robert Parish
, the Celtics won the
1981 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since the day ...
,
1984 Events January * January 1 January 1 or 1 January is the first day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 364 days remaining until the end of the year (365 in leap years). This day is known as New Year's Day since the day m ...
, and 1986 championships. After winning 16 championships throughout the 20th century, the Celtics, after struggling through the 1990s, rose again to win a championship in
2008 2008 was designated as: *International Year of LanguagesThe United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2008 as the International Year of Languages, pursuant to a resolution of UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultura ...
with the help of
Kevin Garnett Kevin Maurice Garnett (born May 19, 1976) is an American former professional basketball player who played for 21 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Known for his intensity, defensive ability, and versatility, Garnett is consi ...

Kevin Garnett
,
Paul Pierce Paul Anthony Pierce (born October 13, 1977) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is an ...

Paul Pierce
, and
Ray Allen Walter Ray Allen Jr. (born July 20, 1975) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, comp ...
in what was known as the new "Big Three" era. The Celtics returned to the NBA Finals in 2010, only to lose to the Lakers in a seven-game series. By the start of the 2013 season, none of the "Big Three" were still with the team, which ushered in a new era for the team. With the help of newly hired head coach
Brad Stevens Bradley Kent Stevens (born October 22, 1976) is an American professional basketball coach and former College athletics, collegiate player who is the head coach of the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Born and raised ...
, the team began rebuilding. In his second season, Stevens led the Celtics on a return to the playoffs in 2015. During the 2016-17 season, the Celtics clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference, but were eliminated in the Conference Finals. Led by
Jayson Tatum Jayson Christopher Tatum (born March 3, 1998) is an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete ...
and
Jaylen Brown Jaylen Marselles Brown (born October 24, 1996) is an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any pe ...
, the team returned to the Conference Finals in 2018 and 2020, losing both times.


Franchise history


1946–1950: Early years

The Boston Celtics were formed on June 6, 1946, by Boston Garden-Arena Corporation president
Walter A. Brown Walter Augustine Brown (February 10, 1905 – September 7, 1964) was the founder and original owner of the Boston Celtics The Boston Celtics ( ) are an American professional basketball team based in Boston. The Celtics compete in the Nationa ...
as a team in the
Basketball Association of America The Basketball Association of America (BAA) is a professional basketball league in North America, founded in 1946. Following its third season, 1948–49, the BAA absorbed most of National Basketball League (United States), National Basketball Leag ...
, and became part of the
National Basketball Association The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball sports league, league in North America. The league is composed of 30 teams (29 in the United States and 1 in Canada) and is one of the four major professional sports leagu ...
after the absorption of the National Basketball League by the BAA in the fall of 1949. In 1950, the Celtics signed Chuck Cooper, becoming the first NBA franchise to
draft Draft, The Draft, or Draught may refer to: Watercraft dimensions * Draft (hull), the distance from waterline to keel of a vessel * Draft (sail), degree of curvature in a sail * Air draft, distance from waterline to the highest point on a vessel ...
a black player.


1950–1957: Arrival of Bob Cousy and Red Auerbach

The Celtics struggled during their early years, until the hiring of coach
Red Auerbach Arnold Jacob "Red" Auerbach (September 20, 1917 – October 28, 2006) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Baske ...
. In the franchise's early days, Auerbach had no assistants, ran all the practices, did all the scouting—both of opposing teams and college draft prospects—and scheduled all road trips. One of the first great players to join the Celtics was
Bob Cousy Robert Joseph Cousy (, born August 9, 1928) is an American retired professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, com ...
, whom Auerbach initially refused to draft out of nearby Holy Cross because he was "too flashy." Cousy's contract eventually became the property of the
Chicago Stags The Chicago Stags were a National Basketball Association The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball sports league, league in North America. The league is composed of 30 teams (29 in the United States and 1 in Canad ...
, but when that franchise went bankrupt, Cousy went to the Celtics in a dispersal draft. After the 1955–56 season, Auerbach made a stunning trade, sending perennial All-Star
Ed Macauley Charles Edward Macauley (March 22, 1928 – November 8, 2011) was a professional basketball player. His playing nickname was "Easy Ed." Macauley spent his prep school days at St. Louis University High School, then went on to Saint Louis Univers ...
to the St. Louis Hawks along with the draft rights to
Cliff Hagan Clifford Oldham Hagan (born December 9, 1931) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, c ...
for the second overall pick in the draft.Ed Macauley
hoophall.com, accessed May 26, 2008.
After negotiating with the
Rochester Royals The Sacramento Kings are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete with the primary objec ...
—a negotiation that included a promise that the Celtics owner would send the highly sought-after
Ice Capades The Ice Capades were traveling entertainment shows featuring theatrical ice skating Ice skating is the self-propulsion and gliding of a person across an ice surface, using metal-bladed ice skates. People skate for various reasons, including re ...
to Rochester if the Royals would let Russell slide to #2—Auerbach used the pick to select
University of San Francisco The University of San Francisco (USF) is a Private university, private Jesuit university in San Francisco, California. The university's main campus is located on a setting between the Golden Gate Bridge and Golden Gate Park. The main campus is ...
center Center or centre may refer to: Mathematics *Center (geometry) In geometry, a centre (or center) (from Ancient Greek language, Greek ''κέντρον'') of an object is a point in some sense in the middle of the object. According to the speci ...
Bill Russell William Felton Russell (born February 12, 1934) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, ...

Bill Russell
. Auerbach also acquired Holy Cross standout, and 1957 NBA Rookie of the Year,
Tom Heinsohn Thomas William Heinsohn (August 26, 1934 – November 9, 2020) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court ...

Tom Heinsohn
.Season Recap – 1950s
nba.com. Retrieved February 17, 2008.
Russell and Heinsohn worked extraordinarily well with Cousy, and they were the players around whom Auerbach would build the champion Celtics for more than a decade.


1956–1969: The Bill Russell era

With
Bill Russell William Felton Russell (born February 12, 1934) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, ...

Bill Russell
, the Celtics advanced to the
1957 NBA Finals The 1957 NBA World Championship Series was the championship series of the 1956–57 National Basketball Association season, and was the conclusion of the 1957 NBA Playoffs. The best-of-seven series was played between the Western Division champi ...
and defeated the St. Louis Hawks in seven games, the first of a record 17 championships. Russell went on to win 11 championships, making him the most decorated player in NBA history. In 1958, the Celtics again advanced to the
NBA Finals The NBA Finals is the annual championship series of the National Basketball Association The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball Professional sports, as opposed to amateur sports, are sport Sport p ...
, this time losing to the Hawks in 6 games. However, with the acquisition of K.C. Jones that year, the Celtics began a dynasty that would last for more than a decade. In 1959, the Celtics won the NBA Championship after sweeping the
Minneapolis Lakers The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete with the primary obj ...
, the first of their record eight consecutive championships. During that time, the Celtics met the Lakers in the Finals five times, starting an intense and often bitter rivalry that has spanned generations. In 1964, the Celtics became the first NBA team to have an all African-American starting lineup. On December 26, 1964,
Willie Naulls William Dean Naulls (October 7, 1934 – November 22, 2018) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A cour ...

Willie Naulls
replaced an injured Tom Heinsohn, joining Tom 'Satch' Sanders, K.C. Jones, Sam Jones, and Bill Russell in the starting lineup. The Celtics defeated St. Louis 97–84. Boston won its next 11 games with Naulls starting in place of Heinsohn. The Celtics of the late 1950s–1960s are widely considered as one of the most dominant teams of all time. Auerbach retired as coach after the 1965–66 season and Russell took over as player-coach, which was Auerbach's ploy to keep Russell interested. With his appointment Russell became the first African-American coach in any U.S. pro sport. Auerbach would remain the general manager, a position he would hold well into the 1980s. However, the Celtics' string of NBA titles ended when they lost to the
Philadelphia 76ers The Philadelphia 76ers (colloquially known as the Sixers) are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court ...
in the 1967 Eastern Conference Finals. The aging team managed two more championships in 1968 and 1969, defeating the
Los Angeles Lakers The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Lakers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference (NBA), Western Conference Pacific Division ...

Los Angeles Lakers
each time. Russell retired after the 1969 season, effectively ending a Celtics dynasty that had garnered an unrivaled 11 NBA titles in 13 seasons. The team's run of 8 consecutive is the longest championship streak in U.S. professional sports history.


1970–1978: Cowens/Havlicek/White era

The 1970 season was a rebuilding year, as the Celtics had their first losing record since the 1949–50 season. However, with the acquisition of
Paul Silas Paul Theron Silas (born July 12, 1943) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person ...
and future Hall of Famers
Dave Cowens David William Cowens (born October 25, 1948) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any p ...
and
Jo Jo White Joseph Henry White (November 16, 1946 – January 16, 2018) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court ...
, the Celtics soon became dominant again. After losing in the Eastern Conference Finals in 1972, the Celtics regrouped and came out determined in 1973 and posted an excellent 68–14 regular season record. But the season ended in disappointment, as they were upset in seven games by the
New York Knicks The New York Knickerbockers, shortened and more commonly referred to as the New York Knicks, are an American professional basketball team based in the Boroughs of New York City, New York City borough of Manhattan. The Knicks compete in the Nat ...
in the Conference Finals.
John Havlicek John Joseph Havlicek ( ; April 8, 1940 – April 25, 2019) was an American professional basketball player who List of NBA players who have spent their entire career with one franchise, spent his entire career with the Boston Celtics, winning List ...
injured his right shoulder in game six and was forced to play game seven shooting left handed. The Celtics returned to the playoffs the next year, defeating the
Milwaukee Bucks The Milwaukee Bucks are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, often ...
in the NBA Finals in 1974 for their 12th
NBA Championship The NBA Finals is the annual championship series of the National Basketball Association The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball sports league, league in North America. The league is composed of 30 teams (29 ...
. Boston took a 3-2 series lead and had a chance to claim the title on their home court. However, the Bucks won Game Six in Boston when
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr.; April 16, 1947) is an American former professional basketball player who played 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers. ...
nestled in a hook shot with 3 seconds left in the game's second overtime, and the series returned to Milwaukee. Cowens was the hero in Game 7, scoring 28 points as the Celtics brought the title back to Boston for the first time in five years. In 1976, the team won yet another championship, defeating the
Phoenix Suns The Phoenix Suns are an American professional basketball team based in Phoenix, Arizona. They compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA), as a member of the league's Western Conference (NBA), Western Conference Pacific Division (NBA), P ...
in six games. The Finals featured one of the greatest games in NBA history. With the series tied at two games apiece, the Suns trailed early in the Boston Garden, but came back to force overtime. In double overtime, a
Gar Heard Garfield Heard (born May 3, 1948) is an American retired professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete with t ...
turn-around jumper at the top of the key sent the game to a third overtime, at which point the Celtics prevailed. After the 1976 championship and a playoff appearance in 1977, Boston went into another rebuilding phase. In the 1977 NBA draft, the Celtics drafted a young forward from
UNC Charlotte The University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte, or simply Charlotte) is a public In public relations and communication science, publics are groups of individual people, and the public (a.k.a. the general public) is the total ...
named
Cedric Maxwell Cedric Bryan Maxwell (born November 21, 1955) is an American retired professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any ...
. "Cornbread" Maxwell did not contribute much in his rookie season, but he showed promise. Auerbach's job became even tougher following the 1977–78 season in which they went 32–50 as Havlicek, the Celtics' all-time leading scorer, retired after 16 seasons. The Celtics owned two of the top eight picks in the
1978 NBA draft The 1978 NBA draft was the 32nd annual NBA Draft, draft of the National Basketball Association (NBA). The draft was held on June 9, 1978, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, New York, before the 1978–79 NBA season, 1978–79 season. In this draf ...
. Auerbach took a risk by selecting junior
Larry Bird Larry Joe Bird (born December 7, 1956) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any pe ...
of Indiana State with the sixth overall pick, knowing that Bird would stay in college for his senior year but believing that his potential would make him worth the wait. The team retained Bird's rights for one year and signed him soon after he led Indiana State to the NCAA Championship game. In 1978, Celtics owner Irv Levin traded franchises with
Buffalo Braves The Buffalo Braves were an American professional basketball franchise based in Buffalo, New York Buffalo is the in the of and the largest city in . 's census estimates, the city proper population was 255,284. The city is the of and ser ...
owner
John Y. Brown Jr. John Young Brown Jr. (born December 28, 1933) is an American politician, entrepreneur, and businessman from the Commonwealth of Kentucky Kentucky ( , ), officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state State may refer to: Arts, en ...
. Two weeks before the swap of franchises was made official, details of a six-player trade between the two teams were reported. Boston sent
Freeman Williams Freeman Williams (born May 15, 1956) is an American retired professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete wit ...

Freeman Williams
,
Kevin Kunnert Kevin Robert Kunnert (born November 11, 1951) is a retired American basketball player in the National Basketball Association (NBA). A 7'0" and 230 lb Center (basketball), center–power forward (basketball), forward, was drafted out of the ...

Kevin Kunnert
, and
Kermit Washington Kermit Alan Washington (born September 17, 1951) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, ...

Kermit Washington
to the Braves for "Tiny" Archibald, Billy Knight, and
Marvin Barnes Marvin Jerome "Bad News" Barnes (July 27, 1952 – September 8, 2014) was an American professional basketball player. A forward, he was an All-American An All-America team is a hypothetical American sports team composed of outstanding amateur pl ...
. The move turned Boston fans against Brown, both because Kunnert and Washington were seen as key pieces of the team's future and because Auerbach publicly stated that he was not consulted about the trade.


1979–1992: The Larry Bird era

The relationship between Brown and Auerbach worsened with Brown's decision to acquire
Bob McAdoo Robert Allen McAdoo (born September 25, 1951) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any ...
in February 1979 in exchange for three first-round draft picks that Auerbach had planned to use to rebuild the franchise.Golden, Daniel (May 10, 1987). "Brown Yearns for Old Kentucky Home; He'd Love to Return to the Governor's Mansion – And So Far, He's the Frontrunner". The Boston Globe. Again, Brown made the trade without consulting Auerbach. Auerbach almost left Boston to take a job with the
New York Knicks The New York Knickerbockers, shortened and more commonly referred to as the New York Knicks, are an American professional basketball team based in the Boroughs of New York City, New York City borough of Manhattan. The Knicks compete in the Nat ...
as a result. With public support strongly behind Auerbach, Brown sold the team to Harry Mangurian in 1979 rather than run the risk of losing his famed general manager.Bob McAdoo Bio
nba.com. Retrieved August 9, 2001.
The Celtics would struggle through the season, going 29–53. Newcomers
Chris Ford Christopher Joseph Ford (born January 11, 1949) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, c ...
, ,
Cedric Maxwell Cedric Bryan Maxwell (born November 21, 1955) is an American retired professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any ...
and
Nate Archibald Nathaniel "Tiny" Archibald (born September 2, 1948) is an American retired professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, c ...
failed to reverse the team's momentum. Larry Bird debuted for the Celtics during the 1979–80 season. With a new owner in place, Auerbach made a number of moves that would bring the team back to prominence. He almost immediately traded McAdoo, a former NBA scoring champion, to the
Detroit Pistons The Detroit Pistons are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, often a ...

Detroit Pistons
for
guard Guard or guards may refer to: Professional occupations * Bodyguard, who protects an individual from personal assault * Crossing guard, who stops traffic so pedestrians can cross the street * Lifeguard, who rescues people from drowning * Prison gu ...
M. L. Carr Michael Leon Carr (born January 9, 1951) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete ...
, a defensive specialist, and two first-round picks in the 1980 NBA draft. He also picked up
point guard The point guard (PG), also called the one or the point, is one of the five positions in a regulation basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular cou ...
Gerald Henderson Jerome McKinley "Gerald" Henderson Sr. (born January 16, 1956) is an American retired basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, cou ...
from the CBA. Carr, Archibald, Henderson and Ford formed a highly competent backcourt, blending in well with the talented frontcourt of Cowens, Maxwell and Bird. With Bird winning
NBA Rookie of the Year The National Basketball Association's Rookie of the Year Award is an annual National Basketball Association The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball sports league, league in North America. The league is comp ...
honors the team went 61–21, a 32-game improvement from the previous season. Playing strong in the playoffs, the Celtics fell to the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Finals. After the season, Auerbach completed one of the most lopsided trades in NBA history, garnering a pair of future Hall of Famers for a pair of first-round draft picks. Seeking to improve the team immediately, Auerbach sent the team's two first-round draft picks to the
Golden State Warriors The Golden State Warriors are an American professional basketball team based in San Francisco San Francisco (; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain * ...
for both
center Center or centre may refer to: Mathematics *Center (geometry) In geometry, a centre (or center) (from Ancient Greek language, Greek ''κέντρον'') of an object is a point in some sense in the middle of the object. According to the speci ...
Robert Parish Robert Lee Parish (born August 30, 1953) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any pe ...

Robert Parish
and the Warriors' first round pick. He then used the pick the Celtics obtained from Golden State to select
University of Minnesota The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (the U of M or Minnesota) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organ ...

University of Minnesota
power forward Kevin McHale. The "Big Three" of Bird, McHale and Parish played together for the Celtics until 1992, won three NBA championships together, and were later described as the best NBA frontcourt of all time. Despite losing
center Center or centre may refer to: Mathematics *Center (geometry) In geometry, a centre (or center) (from Ancient Greek language, Greek ''κέντρον'') of an object is a point in some sense in the middle of the object. According to the speci ...
Dave Cowens David William Cowens (born October 25, 1948) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any p ...
to retirement late in training camp, the Celtics went 62–20 under coach
Bill Fitch William Charles Fitch (born May 19, 1932) is an American former National Basketball Association (NBA) coach who had been successful in developing a number of teams into playoff contenders. Before entering the professional ranks, he coached college ...
in 1980–81. Once again, the Celtics faced the 76ers in the Eastern Conference Finals, falling behind 3-1 before coming back to win Game Seven, 91–90. The Celtics went on to win the 1981 NBA Championship over the
Houston Rockets The Houston Rockets are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, often ...
, with Maxwell being named
NBA Finals MVP The Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award (formerly known as the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award) is an annual National Basketball Association The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball spor ...
. Following the 1981–82 NBA season, the Celtics once again met the 76ers in the playoffs. This time, they lost in seven games. In
1983 The year 1983 saw both the contested beginning of the Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and d ...
the Celtics were swept in the playoffs (a first for the franchise) by the Milwaukee Bucks; afterwards, Fitch resigned and the team was sold to new owners led by
Don Gaston Don F. Gaston is an American businessman who served as an Executive Vice President of Gulf and Western Industries and Chairman of the Boston Celtics. Early life Gaston grew up in Nacogdoches, Texas. In 1954 he graduated from Stephen F. Austin State ...
. In 1983–84, the Celtics, under new coach K. C. Jones, would go 62–20 and return to the
NBA Finals The NBA Finals is the annual championship series of the National Basketball Association The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball Professional sports, as opposed to amateur sports, are sport Sport p ...
after a three-year hiatus. Boston came back from a 2–1 deficit to defeat the Lakers for their 15th championship. Bird renewed his college rivalry with Lakers star
Magic Johnson Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. (born August 14, 1959) is an American former professional player and former president of basketball operations of the of the (NBA). Often regarded as the best of all time, Johnson played 13 seasons for the Lake ...

Magic Johnson
during this series. After the season, Auerbach officially retired as general manager, but maintained the position of team president. He was succeeded by Jan Volk. In 1985, the Lakers and Celtics met again in the Finals, with the Lakers winning. This was the first time the Lakers had defeated the Celtics in the Finals and the only time the team had won a championship at Boston Garden. During the following off-season, the Celtics acquired
Bill Walton William Theodore Walton III (born November 5, 1952) is an American former basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any per ...
from the
Los Angeles Clippers The Los Angeles Clippers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Clippers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the Pacific Division (NBA), Pacific Division in the league's Western C ...
in exchange for
Cedric Maxwell Cedric Bryan Maxwell (born November 21, 1955) is an American retired professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any ...
. Walton had been an All-Star and league MVP while leading the
Portland Trail Blazers The Portland Trail Blazers (colloquially known as the Blazers) are an American professional basketball team based in Portland, Oregon Portland (, ) is the in the of , and the of . It is a major in the region of the , at the of the a ...
to the 1977 NBA championship, but injuries had hobbled him since. Considered the best-passing center in NBA history, he stayed healthy and was a big part of the Celtics' success in 1986. The Celtics won the second pick in the 1986 NBA draft and drafted
University of Maryland The University of Maryland, College Park (University of Maryland, UMD, or simply Maryland) is a public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an org ...
star
Len Bias Leonard Kevin Bias (November 18, 1963June 19, 1986) was an American college basketball player who attended the University of Maryland The University of Maryland, College Park (University of Maryland, UMD, or simply Maryland) is a public ...
, one of the most heralded prospects of his era. Bias died 48 hours later of an accidental cocaine overdose. Despite the tragedy, the Celtics remained competitive in 1986–87, going 59–23 and again winning the Eastern Conference Championship. They were defeated in the Finals by the Lakers in six games. In 1988, the Celtics lost in six games to the
Detroit Pistons The Detroit Pistons are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, often a ...

Detroit Pistons
in the Eastern Conference Finals. Following the season, head coach K.C. Jones retired and was replaced by assistant Jimmy Rodgers. Boston's hopes for 1988–89 faded when Bird underwent a procedure to remove bone spurs in his feet early in the season, and the Celtics won just 42 games before a first-round playoff defeat to the Pistons. Bird returned in 1989–90 and led the Celtics to a 52–30 record. In the
playoffs The playoffs, play-offs, postseason or finals of a sports league A sports league is a group of sports team A sports team is a group of individuals who play sport Sport pertains to any form of Competition, competitive physical activi ...
, the Celtics collapsed after winning the first two games in a best-of-five series against the New York Knicks, losing three straight games and the series. After the playoffs, Rodgers was fired and replaced by assistant coach and former Celtics player
Chris Ford Christopher Joseph Ford (born January 11, 1949) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, c ...
. Under Ford's leadership, the Celtics improved to 56–26 in 1990–91, recapturing the Atlantic Division title even though Bird missed 22 games with several injuries. The Celtics again lost to the Pistons in the playoffs. In 1992, a late-season rally allowed a 51–31 Celtics team to catch the New York Knicks and repeat as Atlantic Division champions. After sweeping the
Indiana Pacers The Indiana Pacers are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, often as ...
in the first round, the Celtics lost a seven-game Eastern Conference Semifinals series to the
Cleveland Cavaliers The Cleveland Cavaliers (often referred to as the Cavs) are an American professional basketball team based in Cleveland Cleveland ( ), officially the City of Cleveland, is a city in the of , and the of . It is located along the souther ...
. Back injuries limited Bird to only 45 regular-season games, and just four of ten in the playoffs. After thirteen NBA seasons and a gold medal at the
Barcelona Olympics The 1992 Summer Olympics ( Spanish: ''Juegos Olímpicos de Verano de 1992'', Catalan: ''Jocs Olímpics d'estiu de 1992''), officially known as the Games of the XXV Olympiad and commonly known as Barcelona '92, were an international multi-sport ...
with the Dream Team, continued back trouble led Bird to retire in 1992.


1993–1998: Rebuilding

The loss of Bird and aging of the team's other veteran stars forced coach Chris Ford into rebuilding mode. Hopes centered on 26-year-old
Reggie Lewis Reginald C. Lewis (November 21, 1965 – July 27, 1993) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, cou ...

Reggie Lewis
, a
small forward The small forward (SF), also known as the three, is one of the five Basketball position, positions in a regulation basketball game. Small forwards are typically shorter, quicker, and leaner than Power forward (basketball), power forwards and Cente ...
out of Boston's
Northeastern University Northeastern University (NU or NEU) is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, British singer Dusty Springfield, after an absen ...
. In the first round of the 1993 playoffs Lewis fainted during Boston's four-game sweep by the
Charlotte Hornets The Charlotte Hornets are an American professional basketball team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Hornets compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference (NBA), Eastern Conference Sou ...
. An examination revealed heart problems, but Lewis was able to get doctors to clear him for a comeback. Before he could make it he died of a heart attack while shooting baskets at Brandeis University during the off-season. The Celtics honored his memory by retiring his number 35. With Kevin McHale having retired after the Celtics' playoff loss to the Hornets, Boston's original Big 3 era came to an end in 1994 upon Robert Parish's signing with Charlotte.Editors of Publication International, Ltd
Robert Parish
entertainment.howstuffworks.com. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
The team collapsed, finishing out of the playoffs with a 32–50 mark. In 1994, the Celtics hired former player and legendary towel-waving cheerleader
M. L. Carr Michael Leon Carr (born January 9, 1951) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete ...
as the team's new vice president of basketball operations. Working alongside general manager Jan Volk, Carr selected
University of North Carolina The University of North Carolina is the multi-campus public university system for the state of North Carolina North Carolina () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly ma ...
star
Eric Montross Eric Scott Montross (born September 23, 1971) is an American retired professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, co ...

Eric Montross
with Boston's first round pick in the
1994 NBA draft The 1994 The year 1994 was designated as the " International Year of the Family" and the "International Year of Sport and the Olympic Ideal" by the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aim ...
. Montross became the new heir apparent in the paint, but failed to develop and was eventually traded. 1994–95 was the Celtics' final season in the
Boston Garden Boston Garden was an arena An arena is a large enclosed platform, often circular or oval-shaped, designed to showcase theatre, musical performances, or sporting events. It is composed of a large open space surrounded on most or al ...
. The Celtics signed aging
Dominique Wilkins Jacques Dominique Wilkins (born January 12, 1960) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, cour ...
as a free agent, who led the team in scoring with 17.8 PPG. Second-year player
Dino Rađa Dino Rađa (Anglicized Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally anglification, anglifying, or Englishing) is the practice of modifying foreign words, names, and phrases to make them easier to spell, pronounce, or understand in En ...
, a power forward from
Croatia , image_flag = Flag of Croatia.svg , image_coat = Coat of arms of Croatia.svg , anthem = "Lijepa naša domovino ''Lijepa naša domovino'' (; ) is the national anthem A national anthem is a song that ...

Croatia
, added an interior presence the team had been lacking in 1993–94. The Celtics made the playoffs, losing to the heavily favored
Orlando Magic The Orlando Magic are an American professional basketball team based in Orlando, Florida. The Magic compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference (NBA), Eastern Conference Southeast Division ...
in 4 games. In 1995, the Celtics moved from the Boston Garden to the Fleet Center (later TD BankNorth, then
TD Garden TD Garden is a multi-purpose arena An arena is a large enclosed platform, often circular or oval-shaped, designed to showcase theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usual ...
). Carr fired
Chris Ford Christopher Joseph Ford (born January 11, 1949) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, c ...
and took the coaching reins himself. After drafting
Providence College Providence often refers to: * Providentia, the divine personification of foresight in ancient Roman religion * Divine providence, divinely ordained events and outcomes in Christianity * Providence, Rhode Island Providence is the capital and ...
star Eric Williams, the Celtics struggled to a 33–49 record. Things got worse in 1996–97 as the Celtics lost a franchise record 67 games, setting an unwanted NBA record winning only once against other Atlantic Division teams and just fifteen victories overall. In spite of the emergence of 1st-round draft pick
Antoine Walker Antoine Devon Walker (born August 12, 1976) is an American former professional basketball player. He was drafted with the sixth overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft out of the University of Kentucky and played in the NBA from 1996 to 2008. Walker pl ...

Antoine Walker
Carr's coaching stint was deemed a failure, and he took another job in the organization when owner Paul Gaston convinced star college coach
Rick Pitino Richard Andrew Pitino (born September 18, 1952) is an American college basketball coach who is the head coach for Iona Gaels men's basketball, Iona College. He is also the head coach of Greece national basketball team, Greece's senior national ...

Rick Pitino
to join the franchise as the team's president, director of basketball operations, and
head coach A head coach, senior coach, or manager is a professional at training and developing athletes. They typically hold a more public profile and are paid more than other Coach (sport), coaches. In some sports, the head coach is instead called the "manag ...
. Pitino's appointment as team president was controversial as Auerbach, the incumbent who had filled that role for more than 25 years, first heard about the change from local media. Unfortunately for the franchise, Pitino was not the savior everyone hoped he'd be. Auerbach bore the insult of being elbowed out with dignity, even as the team failed to improve. The Celtics received the third and sixth draft picks in the 1997 NBA draft, and used the picks to select a brand new backcourt through
Chauncey Billups Chauncey Ray Billups (born September 25, 1976) is an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete ...

Chauncey Billups
and
Ron Mercer Ronald Eugene Mercer (born May 18, 1976) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any pers ...
. The young team that lost 67 games the year before was dismantled, with
David Wesley David Barakau Wesley (born November 14, 1970) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, ...

David Wesley
,
Dino Rađa Dino Rađa (Anglicized Linguistic anglicisation (or anglicization, occasionally anglification, anglifying, or Englishing) is the practice of modifying foreign words, names, and phrases to make them easier to spell, pronounce, or understand in En ...
and Rick Fox being let go, and Williams traded to the Denver Nuggets for a pair of second round draft picks (Williams would return to the Celtics in 1999 and played for four years). Walter McCarty was also acquired in a trade with the Knicks. With a promising start, upsetting the defending champions Chicago Bulls at home on opening night, and hard play from the youngsters that led to leaderships in turnovers and steals, the team improved its victories from 15 to 36 despite many losing streaks. Billups was subsequently traded to the Raptors during his rookie year, and Mercer was traded to the Nuggets during his third season.


1998–2013: The Paul Pierce era

The following year in the 1998 NBA draft, the Celtics drafted
Paul Pierce Paul Anthony Pierce (born October 13, 1977) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is an ...

Paul Pierce
, a college star who had been expected to be drafted much earlier than the Celtics' 10th overall pick. Pierce had an immediate impact during the lockout-shortened 1998–99 NBA season, averaging 19.5 points and being named NBA Rookie of the Month Award, Rookie of The Month in February as he led the league in steals. However, the Celtics continued to struggle as Pitino failed to achieve meaningful success. After Boston lost to the Toronto Raptors on March 1, 2000, on a buzzer-beater by Vince Carter, Pitino delivered the memorable "walking through that door" speech, invoking Bird, McHale and Parish, which has been frequently cited over the years as a reality check for organizations wrestling with bygone glory. He resigned in January 2001. Following the resignation of Rick Pitino, the Celtics saw modest improvement under coach Jim O'Brien (basketball, born 1952), Jim O'Brien.
Paul Pierce Paul Anthony Pierce (born October 13, 1977) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is an ...

Paul Pierce
matured into an NBA star and was ably complemented by Antoine Walker and the other players acquired over the years. While the team was 12–21 when Pitino left, O'Brien's record to finish the season was 24–24. Following the 2000–01 NBA season, 2000–01 season O'Brien was given the job of head coach on a permanent basis. As a result of numerous trades, the Celtics had three picks in the 2001 NBA draft. They selected Joe Johnson (basketball), Joe Johnson, Joseph Forte, Joe Forte, and Kedrick Brown. Only Johnson managed to succeed in the NBA, becoming a perennial All-Star after leaving the Celtics. The Celtics entered the 2001–02 NBA season, 2001–02 season with low expectations. The team's success in the latter stages of 2000–01 was largely forgotten, and critics were surprised when the team, along with the New Jersey Nets, surged to the top of the Atlantic Division ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers, who were fresh off a trip to the 2001 NBA Finals, NBA Finals. The Celtics won a hard-fought 5-game series with the 76ers in the first round, 3–2. Pierce scored 46 points in the series-clinching blowout at the FleetCenter (Boston), Fleet Center. In the Conference Semifinals, the Celtics defeated the favored Detroit Pistons 4–1. In their first trip to the Eastern Conference Finals since 1988 NBA playoffs, 1988, the Celtics jumped out to a 2–1 series lead over the Nets, after rallying from 21 points down in the fourth quarter to win Game 3, but would lose the next three games to fall 4–2. In 2003, the Celtics were sold by owner Paul Gaston to Boston Basketball Partners L.L.C., led by H. Irving Grousbeck, Wycliffe Grousbeck and Steve Pagliuca. The team made it back to the 2003 NBA playoffs, playoffs but were swept by the Nets in the second round, despite bringing Game 4 to double overtime. Before their elimination, the team hired former Celtics' guard Danny Ainge as general manager, moving Chris Wallace to another position in the organization. Ainge believed the team had reached its peak and promptly sent Antoine Walker to the Dallas Mavericks (along with Tony Delk). In return, the Celtics received the often-injured Raef LaFrentz, Chris Mills (basketball), Chris Mills, Jiří Welsch, and a first-round pick in 2004 NBA draft, 2004. The Celtics made the 2004 NBA playoffs, playoffs, only to be swept in the first round by the
Indiana Pacers The Indiana Pacers are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, often as ...
, losing all 4 games by blowout margins.


2004–2007: Arrival of Doc Rivers

The Celtics were a young team under new coach Doc Rivers during the 2004–05 season, having drafted youngsters Al Jefferson, Delonte West and Tony Allen (basketball), Tony Allen in the 2004 Draft. Yet they seemed to have a core of good young players, led by Pierce and rookie Al Jefferson, to go along with a group of able veterans. The Celtics went 45–37 and won their first NBA Atlantic Division, Atlantic Division title since 1991–92 NBA season, 1991–92, receiving a boost from returning star Antoine Walker in mid-season. The Pacers defeated them in the first round yet again, with the series culminating in an embarrassing 27-point loss in Game 7 at the FleetCenter (Boston), Fleet Center. After the season Walker was traded again, this time to the Miami Heat. Despite Pierce's career season, in which he averaged career-highs in points (26.8), the Celtics missed the playoffs with a 33–49 record, owing largely to a young roster and constant roster shuffling, which saw the likes of Marcus Banks, Ricky Davis and Mark Blount traded for underachieving former first-overall pick Michael Olowokandi and former all-star Wally Szczerbiak. The Celtics continued to rebuild in the 2006 NBA draft. The Celtics selected Kentucky point guard Rajon Rondo, who was to become a key piece in the team's revival. In the second round the Celtics added center Leon Powe. The 2006–07 NBA season, 2006–07 season was a gloomy one for the franchise, starting with the death of Red Auerbach at 89. Auerbach was one of the few remaining people who had been a part of the NBA since its inception in 1946. The Celtics went 2–22 from late December 2006 through early February 2007 after losing Pierce to injury, the result of a stress reaction in his left foot. At first, the Celtics received a much needed boost from guard Tony Allen (basketball), Tony Allen but he tore his anterior cruciate ligament, ACL and medial collateral ligament, MCL on a needless dunk attempt after the whistle. The Celtics compiled a record of 24–58, second-worst in the NBA, including a franchise record List of National Basketball Association longest losing streaks, 18-game losing streak. At the end of the season, the Celtics, with the second worst record in the NBA, were at least hopeful that they could secure a high draft pick and select either Greg Oden or Kevin Durant to help rebuild the franchise, but the Celtics fell to fifth in the Draft Lottery.


2007–2012: The new "Big Three": Pierce, Allen, and Garnett

In the summer of 2007, general manager Danny Ainge made a series of moves that returned the Celtics to prominence. On draft night, he traded No. 5 pick Jeff Green (basketball), Jeff Green, Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West to Seattle for perennial all-star
Ray Allen Walter Ray Allen Jr. (born July 20, 1975) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, comp ...
and Seattle's second-round pick (which the team used to select LSU's Glen Davis (basketball), Glen "Big Baby" Davis). The Celtics then traded Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair, and a first-round draft pick to the Timberwolves in exchange for superstar power forward
Kevin Garnett Kevin Maurice Garnett (born May 19, 1976) is an American former professional basketball player who played for 21 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Known for his intensity, defensive ability, and versatility, Garnett is consi ...

Kevin Garnett
. These moves created a new "Big Three" of Pierce, Allen, and Garnett. In the 2007–08 season, Celtics completed the largest single-season turnaround in National Basketball Association, NBA history. The team went 66–16 in the regular season, a 42-game improvement over its 2006–07 record. However, the team struggled in the early rounds of the playoffs, needing seven games to defeat the Atlanta Hawks in the first round and another seven to defeat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the conference semifinals. The Celtics then beat the Detroit Pistons in six games in the Eastern Conference Finals, winning two road games. For the 11th time in league history, and for the first time since 1987, the Celtics and the Lakers faced off in the NBA Finals. The Celtics won Game One at home 98–88, fueled by strong play by Garnett and Pierce's dramatic comeback from a second-half knee injury. They won Game Two 108–102 despite nearly blowing a 24-point lead in the fourth quarter. As the series shifted to Los Angeles, the Lakers stifled Pierce and Garnett in Game Three and won 87–81. However, the Celtics would overcome a 24-point deficit in Game 4 to win 97–91, making the largest in-game comeback in NBA Finals history. After again blowing a large lead, the Lakers hung on to win Game 5 103–98, sending the series back to Boston. In Game 6, the Celtics overpowered the Lakers, winning 131–92 and clinching their 17th NBA title.
Paul Pierce Paul Anthony Pierce (born October 13, 1977) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is an ...

Paul Pierce
was named Finals MVP. With the win Celtics set a record for most games a team had ever played in a postseason with 26. The 2008–09 Celtics started off the season at 27–2, the then-best starting record in NBA history. They also had a franchise record 19-game streak. After the All-Star Break,
Kevin Garnett Kevin Maurice Garnett (born May 19, 1976) is an American former professional basketball player who played for 21 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Known for his intensity, defensive ability, and versatility, Garnett is consi ...

Kevin Garnett
was injured in a loss against the Utah Jazz and missed the last 25 games of the season. Garnett was eventually shelved for the playoffs. The 2009 Celtics still finished with 62 victories, but their playoff run would end against the Magic in the second round. In 2009, with the return of Garnett from injury and the additions of Rasheed Wallace and Marquis Daniels, the Celtics started the season 23–5 and at one point had the best record in the NBA. However, Doc Rivers decided to lessen his aging stars' minutes to keep them fresh for the playoffs. As a result, the Celtics sputtered to an even 27–27 record the rest of the way and finished the 2009–10 regular season with a 50–32 record. Despite being the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics managed to make the
NBA Finals The NBA Finals is the annual championship series of the National Basketball Association The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball Professional sports, as opposed to amateur sports, are sport Sport p ...
. Rajon Rondo emerged as a star during postseason play. For the 12th time, the Celtics faced the Lakers in the Finals. After taking a 3–2 lead heading into Los Angeles for Game Six, the Celtics appeared poised to win their 18th title. However, starting center Kendrick Perkins suffered a severe knee injury early in Game Six, and the Celtics went on to lose the series in seven games. During the 2010 offseason, with Perkins expected to be out until February 2011, the Celtics signed two former All-Star centers, Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal. Shaquille O'Neal's presence wound up leading to Perkins' departure: the Celtics were 33–10 in games Perkins had missed during the year due to injury and had a 19–3 record in games when O'Neal played over 20 minutes. Consequently, Perkins was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in February, when the Celtics were 41–14 and led the Eastern Conference despite another rash of injuries. Following the trade, however, they proceeded to win only 15 of their final 27 games. They finished with a 56–26 record, sliding to the third seed. The 2010–11 season still provided three landmarks: The Celtics became the second team to reach 3,000 victories, Paul Pierce became the third Celtic to score 20,000 points (the others are Larry Bird and John Havlicek), and Ray Allen broke the NBA record for most career three-pointers. The 2011 NBA playoffs started with the Celtics sweeping the New York Knicks 4–0 in the opening round. In the second round, they were ousted by eventual Eastern Conference champions Miami Heat in five games. Shaquille O'Neal, limited to 12 minutes in two games of the second round, retired at the end of the season. The Celtics started the 2011 NBA lockout, lockout-shortened season 0–3, as Pierce was out with a heel injury. At the All-Star break, the Celtics were below .500 with a 15–17 record. However, they were one of the hottest teams in the league after the break, going 24–10 the rest of the year and winning their fifth division title in a row. The Celtics made the playoffs as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. In the playoffs, the Celtics faced the Atlanta Hawks in the first round, beating them in six games led by strong play from Pierce and Garnett. In the conference semifinals, the Celtics defeated the 76ers in seven games. The Celtics faced the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, losing in seven games to the eventual NBA champions. The 2012 off-season started with the Celtics having only six players under contract. While Kevin Garnett was signed to a new contract, Ray Allen signed with the Miami Heat for less money than the Celtics offered; this move brought the five-year "Big Three" era to a somewhat acrimonious end. The Celtics finished the season with 41 wins. The Celtics trailed the New York Knicks 3-0 in the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs before losing the series in six games. In Game Six, the Celtics nearly completed a comeback when they went on a 20–0 run to cut the lead to four.


2013–2017: End of the "Big Three" Era and Rebuilding

During the off-season, head coach Doc Rivers was allowed to terminate his contract. He departed the Celtics to coach the Los Angeles Clippers, and the Celtics received a 2015 unprotected first-round pick as compensation. A few days later, Pierce, Garnett (who waived a no-trade clause), Jason Terry, and D. J. White, were traded to the Brooklyn Nets for Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries, Kris Joseph, Gerald Wallace, and three future first-round draft picks (2014, 2016, 2018), together with the right to swap 2017 first-round picks with Brooklyn. The deal marked the start of a youth movement for the team. On July 3, 2013, the Celtics announced that
Brad Stevens Bradley Kent Stevens (born October 22, 1976) is an American professional basketball coach and former College athletics, collegiate player who is the head coach of the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Born and raised ...
, the head coach of Butler Bulldogs men's basketball, Butler University, would replace Doc Rivers as head coach. Halfway through the season, in January, Rajon Rondo made his return and was named the 15th Team Captain in team history, and the team furthered the youth movement by acquiring two draft picks in a three team trade that sent Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks to the Golden State Warriors while the Celtics received the Heat center Joel Anthony. The 2013–14 season marked the Celtics' first missed playoffs since the "Big Three". The next off-season, the Celtics drafted Marcus Smart with the 6th overall pick and James Young (basketball), James Young with the 17th overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft, and signed Evan Turner. The 2014–15 season had several roster moves, the most prominent being Rondo and rookie Dwight Powell traded to the Dallas Mavericks for center Brandan Wright, forward Jae Crowder, veteran point guard Jameer Nelson, and future picks. A total of 22 players spent time with the Celtics, leading scorer and rebounder Sullinger suffered a season-ending left metatarsal stress fracture, and the team was only tenth in the East with 28 games remaining. However, midseason acquisition Isaiah Thomas (basketball), Isaiah Thomas helped the team win 22 of their last 34 games, finishing the season with a 40–42 record, enough for the seventh seed in the 2015 NBA playoffs, Eastern Conference Playoffs. The Celtics were swept by the second seeded Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round. In the 2015 NBA draft Boston selected Terry Rozier, R.J. Hunter, Jordan Mickey, and Marcus Thornton (basketball, born 1993), Marcus Thornton with the 16th, 28th, 33rd, and 45th selections respectively. During the off-season, the Celtics signed forward Amir Johnson and traded Gerald Wallace and Chris Babb in exchange for Warriors forward David Lee. The Celtics finished the 2015–16 NBA season with a 48–34 record, earning the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. They played the fourth seed Atlanta Hawks in the first round of the playoffs. After leading by 3 points in the fourth quarter of Game 1, guard Avery Bradley went down with a hamstring injury, making him sit out for the rest of the series. The Celtics lost the series 4–2 to the Hawks, ending their season. On July 8, 2016, the Celtics signed four-time All-Star Al Horford. The Celtics finished the 2016–17 NBA season, 2016–17 season with a 53–29 record and clinched the top seed in the Eastern Conference. After a hip injury ended Thomas' impressive playoff run in game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Celtics eventually lost to the Cavaliers in five games.


2017–present: The Tatum-Brown era

In the 2016 NBA draft, the Celtics selected
Jaylen Brown Jaylen Marselles Brown (born October 24, 1996) is an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any pe ...
with the third pick. At the time, he was a tenacious defender with raw athletic ability who is now an elite offensive threat. For the 2017 NBA draft, the Celtics won the draft lottery, earning them the first pick.This pick originally belonged to the Brooklyn Nets, but was sent to the Celtics in the 2013 trade involving Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. The Nets had the worst record in the previous season, which gave the Celtics the highest chance of winning the lottery. They were projected to select freshman guard Markelle Fultz, but the pick was subsequently traded to the
Philadelphia 76ers The Philadelphia 76ers (colloquially known as the Sixers) are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court ...
in exchange for the third pick in the 2017 draft and future picks. The 76ers would go on to draft Fultz, while the Celtics used the third pick to select freshman forward
Jayson Tatum Jayson Christopher Tatum (born March 3, 1998) is an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete ...
. Semi Ojeleye, Kadeem Allen, and Jabari Bird were selected with the 37th, 53rd, and 56th selections, respectively, in the second round. At the start of the off-season, the team signed Tatum and Ante Žižić, among others, with the biggest acquisition being the signing of Gordon Hayward. On August 22, 2017, the Celtics agreed to a deal that sent Isaiah Thomas (basketball), Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Žižić, and the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first round draft pick to the
Cleveland Cavaliers The Cleveland Cavaliers (often referred to as the Cavs) are an American professional basketball team based in Cleveland Cleveland ( ), officially the City of Cleveland, is a city in the of , and the of . It is located along the souther ...
in exchange for Kyrie Irving. An additional draft pick (Celtics' 2020 second round) was later added to the package from the Celtics to the Cavaliers after doctors revealed that Thomas's injury was more significant than initially anticipated. By the end of the off-season, only four Celtics' players remained from the 2016–17 Boston Celtics season, 2016–17 team, with Marcus Smart being the longest tenured Celtic from the 2014 NBA draft. On the team's opening night game in the first quarter against the Cavaliers, Hayward suffered a fractured tibia and dislocated ankle in his left leg, causing him to be ruled out for the rest of the regular season. Despite the loss, the Celtics went on a List of National Basketball Association longest winning streaks, 16-game winning streak, which also went down as the fourth-longest winning streak in the teams' history. The streak started with a 102–92 victory over the
Philadelphia 76ers The Philadelphia 76ers (colloquially known as the Sixers) are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court ...
on October 20 and ended on November 22 to the hands of the Miami Heat with a 98–104 loss. The Celtics finished the year with a 55–27 record, good enough for second place in the Eastern Conference. In the playoffs, they defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in the First Round in seven games, and continued the feat in the Conference Semifinals by defeating the Philadelphia 76ers in five games before losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers in seven games in the Conference Finals. The Celtics finished the 2018–19 NBA season, 2018–19 season with a 49–33 record. Analysts started questioning team's performance and chances for the championship when the Celtics had a 10–10 record after the first 20 games on November 24, 2018. The Celtics then won the next eight games improving their record to 18–10. During the eight-game win streak, the Celtics defeated the
Cleveland Cavaliers The Cleveland Cavaliers (often referred to as the Cavs) are an American professional basketball team based in Cleveland Cleveland ( ), officially the City of Cleveland, is a city in the of , and the of . It is located along the souther ...
128–95, the
New York Knicks The New York Knickerbockers, shortened and more commonly referred to as the New York Knicks, are an American professional basketball team based in the Boroughs of New York City, New York City borough of Manhattan. The Knicks compete in the Nat ...
128–100, and also defeated the Chicago Bulls by 56 points (133–77), setting a record for the largest margin in a victory in franchise history, while also tying the record for largest victory margin by an away team. On February 9, 2019, the Celtics lost 129–128 to the
Los Angeles Lakers The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Lakers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference (NBA), Western Conference Pacific Division ...

Los Angeles Lakers
after former Celtic Rajon Rondo hit the first game-winning shot in his NBA career. The Celtics finished the regular season place fourth in the Eastern Conference. During an April 7 game, Marcus Smart injured his hip and was ruled out for the rest of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs. In the 2019 NBA playoffs, 2019 playoffs, the Celtics swept the
Indiana Pacers The Indiana Pacers are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, often as ...
in the first round, and then lost to the
Milwaukee Bucks The Milwaukee Bucks are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, often ...
in five games. The Celtics held four picks in the 2019 NBA draft. Following a series of transactions, the team landed Romeo Langford with the 14th pick and also added Grant Williams (basketball), Grant Williams, Carsen Edwards, and Tremont Waters (2020 G-league Rookie of the year). During the 2019 offseason, Kyrie Irving and Al Horford signed with the Brooklyn Nets and
Philadelphia 76ers The Philadelphia 76ers (colloquially known as the Sixers) are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court ...
, respectively. On June 30, 2019, the Celtics and point guard Kemba Walker agreed to a four-year maximum contract worth $141 million. On July 6, 2019, the Celtics officially acquired Walker in a sign and trade with the Charlotte Hornets; the Celtics sent guard Terry Rozier and a protected 2020 second-round draft pick to Charlotte in exchange for Walker and a 2020 second-round draft pick. On July 1, 2019, the Celtics agreed to a two-year contract with center Enes Kanter. On July 25, 2019, the Celtics agreed to a rookie contract with center Tacko Fall. Following the suspension of the 2019–20 NBA season, the Celtics were one of the 22 teams invited to the 2020 NBA Bubble, NBA Bubble to participate in the final 8 games of the regular season. In the 2020 NBA playoffs, 2020 playoffs, the Celtics swept the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round, beat the Toronto Raptors in a seven-game series, and fell to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals in six games.


Rivalries


Los Angeles Lakers

The rivalry between the Boston Celtics and
Los Angeles Lakers The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Lakers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference (NBA), Western Conference Pacific Division ...

Los Angeles Lakers
involves the two most storied franchises in NBA history. It has been called the NBA's best rivalry. The two teams have met a record twelve times in the
NBA Finals The NBA Finals is the annual championship series of the National Basketball Association The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball Professional sports, as opposed to amateur sports, are sport Sport p ...
, starting with their first Finals meeting in . They would go on to dominate the league in the 1960s and the 1980s, facing each other six times in the 1960s, three times in the 1980s, in 2008, and in 2010. The rivalry had been less intense since the retirements of
Magic Johnson Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. (born August 14, 1959) is an American former professional player and former president of basketball operations of the of the (NBA). Often regarded as the best of all time, Johnson played 13 seasons for the Lake ...

Magic Johnson
and Larry Bird in the early 1990s, but in 2008 it was renewed as the Celtics and Lakers met in the Finals for the first time since 1987, with the Celtics winning the series in six games. They faced off once again in the 2010 NBA Finals which the Lakers won in seven games. The two teams are tied for the highest numbers of championships (17); together, the 34 championships account for almost half of the List of NBA champions, 74 championships in NBA history.


Atlanta Hawks

The Celtics–Atlanta Hawks, Hawks rivalry is a List of sports rivalries, rivalry in the Eastern Conference of the
National Basketball Association The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball sports league, league in North America. The league is composed of 30 teams (29 in the United States and 1 in Canada) and is one of the four major professional sports leagu ...
that has lasted for over five decades, although the two teams have played each other since the 1949–50 season, when the then-Quad Cities, Tri-Cities Blackhawks joined the NBA as part of the National Basketball League and the
Basketball Association of America The Basketball Association of America (BAA) is a professional basketball league in North America, founded in 1946. Following its third season, 1948–49, the BAA absorbed most of National Basketball League (United States), National Basketball Leag ...
merger. However, the Blackhawks could not field a truly competitive team until they moved to St. Louis as the St. Louis Hawks after a four-year stopover at Milwaukee. The two teams have faced each other eleven times in the NBA Playoffs, four times in the
NBA Finals The NBA Finals is the annual championship series of the National Basketball Association The National Basketball Association (NBA) is a professional basketball Professional sports, as opposed to amateur sports, are sport Sport p ...
, with the Celtics winning ten of twelve series against the Hawks, including three out of four NBA Finals.Boston Celtics Franchise History
nba.com. Retrieved November 8, 2012.
While the Hawks have only defeated the Celtics twice out of eleven series in the NBA Playoffs, they still often managed to make their series with the Celtics memorable. The rivalry intensified in 2016 with Hawks All-Star Center Al Horford spurning the team and joining the Celtics.


Brooklyn Nets

The Boston Celtics were once rivals of the Brooklyn Nets, New Jersey Nets during the early 2000s due to their respective locations and their burgeoning stars. The Nets were led by Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin, while the Celtics were experiencing newfound success behind Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker. The rivalry began to heat up in the 2002 Eastern Conference Finals, which was preceded by trash talking from the Celtics who claimed Martin was a "fake" tough guy. Things progressed as the series started, and on-court tensions seemed to spill into the stands. Celtics' fans berated Kidd and his family with chants of "Wife Beater!" in response to Kidd's 2001 domestic abuse charge. When asked about the fan barbs being traded, Kenyon Martin stated, "Our fans hate them, their fans hate us."
Bill Walton William Theodore Walton III (born November 5, 1952) is an American former basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any per ...
said at the time that Nets-Celtics was the "beginning of the next great NBA rivalry" during the Eastern Conference Finals in 2002 with the Nets advancing to the NBA Finals, though New Jersey would go on to sweep Boston in the 2003 playoffs. In 2012, the year the Nets returned to New York in the borough of Brooklyn, there were indications that the rivalry might be rekindled when an altercation occurred on the court on November 28, resulting in the ejection of Rajon Rondo, Gerald Wallace, and Kris Humphries. Rondo was suspended for two games in the aftermath, while Wallace and
Kevin Garnett Kevin Maurice Garnett (born May 19, 1976) is an American former professional basketball player who played for 21 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Known for his intensity, defensive ability, and versatility, Garnett is consi ...

Kevin Garnett
were fined. The story was revisited on December 25, when Wallace grabbed Garnett's shorts and the two had to be broken up by referees and players alike. However, the rivalry between the Nets and the Celtics appeared significantly cooled off by the June 2013 blockbuster trade that dealt Celtics stars Garnett and
Paul Pierce Paul Anthony Pierce (born October 13, 1977) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is an ...

Paul Pierce
to the Nets in exchange for Wallace, Humphries, and others. This move was billed as a merger of the two Atlantic Division teams. Celtics announcer Sean Grande said "It's almost as if you found a great home for these guys. You couldn't have found a better place. These guys will be in the New York market, they'll be on a competitive team, they'll stay on national TV. It's funny, because the enemy of my enemy is my friend. So with Celtics fans feeling the way they do about the Heat, feeling the way they do about the Knicks, the Nets are going to become almost the second [Boston] team now." The trade would end up crippling the Nets who posted a record of 151–259 following the trade including three consecutive seasons with fewer than 30 wins from 2016 to 2018. Brooklyn would win just one playoff series with Garnett and Pierce, neither of whom were with the team by the close of the 2014–15 Brooklyn Nets season, 2014–2015 season. The Celtics would use Brooklyn's draft picks to acquire
Jaylen Brown Jaylen Marselles Brown (born October 24, 1996) is an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any pe ...
and
Jayson Tatum Jayson Christopher Tatum (born March 3, 1998) is an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete ...
through the draft in 2016 NBA draft, 2016 and 2017 NBA Draft, 2017 respectively and Kyrie Irving via trade, en route to consecutive appearances in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2017 NBA playoffs, 2017 and 2018 NBA playoffs, 2018. Irving then left to the Nets in the 2019 2019–20 NBA season#Free agency, Free Agency.


Detroit Pistons

The rivalry between the Celtics and the
Detroit Pistons The Detroit Pistons are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person or institution, often a ...

Detroit Pistons
peaked in the 1980s, featuring players such as Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish, Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer, Dennis Rodman, and Joe Dumars. These teams met in the NBA playoffs five times in 7 seasons from 1985 to 1991, with the Celtics winning in 1985 and 1987, and the Pistons coming out on top en route to back-to-back Finals appearances in and their championship seasons of and . Led by
Paul Pierce Paul Anthony Pierce (born October 13, 1977) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is an ...

Paul Pierce
,
Kevin Garnett Kevin Maurice Garnett (born May 19, 1976) is an American former professional basketball player who played for 21 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Known for his intensity, defensive ability, and versatility, Garnett is consi ...

Kevin Garnett
and
Ray Allen Walter Ray Allen Jr. (born July 20, 1975) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, comp ...
in the 2008 NBA Conference Finals, Eastern Conference Finals the Celtics defeated the Pistons in 6 games to advance to the NBA Finals where they went on to beat the Lakers also in 6 games.


New York Knicks

The rivalry between the Celtics and the
New York Knicks The New York Knickerbockers, shortened and more commonly referred to as the New York Knicks, are an American professional basketball team based in the Boroughs of New York City, New York City borough of Manhattan. The Knicks compete in the Nat ...
stems from the location of the teams, both of which are in the NBA's Atlantic division. It is one of many rivalries between Boston and New York teams. Boston and New York are also the only two original NBA franchises that have remained in the same city for the duration of their existence. The teams have played 512 games against each other during the regular season, with the Celtics winning 276 times. The two teams have also faced each other 61 times during the playoffs, with the Celtics winning 34 times.


Philadelphia 76ers

The Celtics and the
Philadelphia 76ers The Philadelphia 76ers (colloquially known as the Sixers) are an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court ...
are the two teams who have the most meetings in the NBA playoffs, playing each other in 19 series, of which the Celtics have won 12. The 76ers are considered as the Celtics' biggest rival in the Eastern Conference. The rivalry reached its peak when players Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain of the 76ers played each other from 1965 to 1968. Their play would result in the Celtics not winning every NBA Finals series in the 1960s when the 76ers won in 1967.


Washington Wizards

One of the most recent and unexpected rivalry that has been created between the Celtics is with the Washington Wizards. Although both teams had engaged in a fight in 1984 NBA playoffs, 1984, the rivalry intensified during the 2015–16 season in a January regular season game after Jae Crowder was given a technical foul. Crowder then began to exchange words with then Wizards coach Randy Wittman. It began to escalate that off-season when the Celtics were trying to sign Al Horford. It was publicly reported that Jae Crowder emphasized that the Celtics beat the Wizards in all of their meetings that season and should sign with them rather than Washington. In their first meeting of the 2016–17 season, Wall hit Marcus Smart in the back-court when they were up by 20 late in the 4th quarter. Wall was hit with a Flagrant 2 foul and was promptly ejected. Smart immediately got back up and began to scuffle with Wall. Their words continued even after being separated with Wall telling Smart to meet him out back after the game. No incident was reported between the two following the game. In their next meeting, the Celtics won 117–108. However, after the game Wall and Crowder exchanged words in front of the Wizards bench. Crowder ended up trying to jab his finger at Wall's nose and Wall tried to fight back with a slap. Teammates and coaches from both sides had to step in and separate the two teams but the players continued to yell while entering their respective locker rooms. Police officers had to be on guard between the two locker rooms to ensure no further confrontation. Otto Porter is quoted as calling the Celtics as dirty. Isaiah Thomas (basketball), Isaiah Thomas replied "If playing hard is dirty, then I guess we are a dirty team." In their next game in January, the Wizards wore all black to enter the game. The notion was that it is similar to the attire of a funeral. Their decision worked as they defeated the Celtics 123–108. The two teams would go on to meet in the Conference Semifinals in the 2017 Playoffs. In Game 1, Markieff Morris landed on Horford's ankle after shooting a jumpshot. Morris sprained his ankle and had to miss the rest of the game which was a 123–111 loss. Morris believed that Horford did this intentionally. In Game 2, Morris retaliated by grabbing Horford by the waist and pushed him into the seats. In Game 3, Kelly Olynyk set a hard screen on Kelly Oubre Jr., Kelly Oubre. Olynyk's shoulder hit Oubre in the chin causing him to drop to the floor. Oubre angrily rose and pushed Olynyk down onto the floor. Oubre was then assessed a flagrant 2 foul and was ejected while also being suspended for Game 4. No significant altercations erupted in the rest of the seven game series in which the Celtics would go on to win. The rivalry has since dissipated as the Celtics have retooled their roster but their match-ups are still seen as significant as they played on Christmas in 2017.


Season-by-season record

''List of the last five seasons completed by the Celtics. For the full season-by-season history, see List of Boston Celtics seasons.'' ''Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, % = Winning Percentage'';


Records, retired numbers and awards

The Celtics are tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for an NBA record 17 Championships. Celtics have won 8 in a row, and 11 championships in 13 years. They also have 56 playoff appearances. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame have 45 enshrined players who played for the Celtics, and the franchise has retired numbers, retired 22 Number (sports), jersey numbers, more than any other American sports team.


FIBA Hall of Fame

FIBA, the body which governs international basketball, has selected two players associated with the Celtics to the FIBA Hall of Fame for contributions to international basketball.


Home arenas


Players


Current roster


Retained draft rights

The Celtics hold the draft rights to the following unsigned draft picks who have been playing outside the NBA. A drafted player is ostensibly either an international draftee or a college draftee who is not signed by the team that drafted him, is allowed to sign with any non-NBA teams. In this case, the team retains the player's draft rights in the NBA until one year after the player's contract with the non-NBA team ends. This list includes draft rights that were acquired from trades with other teams.


Captains


Franchise leaders

Bold denotes still active with team. ''Italic'' denotes still active but not with team. Points scored (regular season) (as of the end of the 2019–20 season) * 1.
John Havlicek John Joseph Havlicek ( ; April 8, 1940 – April 25, 2019) was an American professional basketball player who List of NBA players who have spent their entire career with one franchise, spent his entire career with the Boston Celtics, winning List ...
(26,395) * 2.
Paul Pierce Paul Anthony Pierce (born October 13, 1977) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is an ...

Paul Pierce
(24,021) * 3.
Larry Bird Larry Joe Bird (born December 7, 1956) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any pe ...
(21,791) * 4.
Robert Parish Robert Lee Parish (born August 30, 1953) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any pe ...

Robert Parish
(18,245) * 5. Kevin McHale (17,335) * 6.
Bob Cousy Robert Joseph Cousy (, born August 9, 1928) is an American retired professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, com ...
(16,955) * 7. Sam Jones (15,411) * 8.
Bill Russell William Felton Russell (born February 12, 1934) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, ...

Bill Russell
(14,522) * 9.
Dave Cowens David William Cowens (born October 25, 1948) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any p ...
(13,192) * 10.
Jo Jo White Joseph Henry White (November 16, 1946 – January 16, 2018) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court ...
(13,188) * 11.
Bill Sharman William Walton Sharman (May 25, 1926 – October 25, 2013) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court ...

Bill Sharman
(12,287) * 12.
Tom Heinsohn Thomas William Heinsohn (August 26, 1934 – November 9, 2020) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court ...

Tom Heinsohn
(12,194) * 13.
Antoine Walker Antoine Devon Walker (born August 12, 1976) is an American former professional basketball player. He was drafted with the sixth overall pick in the 1996 NBA draft out of the University of Kentucky and played in the NBA from 1996 to 2008. Walker pl ...

Antoine Walker
(11,386) * 14. Don Nelson (9,968) * 15.
Satch Sanders Thomas Ernest "Satch" Sanders (born November 8, 1938) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, co ...
(8,766) * 16. Frank Ramsey (basketball), Frank Ramsey (8,378) * 17.
Cedric Maxwell Cedric Bryan Maxwell (born November 21, 1955) is an American retired professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any ...
(8,311) * 18.
Reggie Lewis Reginald C. Lewis (November 21, 1965 – July 27, 1993) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, cou ...

Reggie Lewis
(7,902) * 19.
Ed Macauley Charles Edward Macauley (March 22, 1928 – November 8, 2011) was a professional basketball player. His playing nickname was "Easy Ed." Macauley spent his prep school days at St. Louis University High School, then went on to Saint Louis Univers ...
(7,882) * 20. Dennis Johnson (6,805) * 21. Danny Ainge (6,257) * 22.
Kevin Garnett Kevin Maurice Garnett (born May 19, 1976) is an American former professional basketball player who played for 21 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Known for his intensity, defensive ability, and versatility, Garnett is consi ...

Kevin Garnett
(6,233) * 23.
Ray Allen Walter Ray Allen Jr. (born July 20, 1975) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, comp ...
(5,987) * 24. Bailey Howell (5,812) * 25. ''Rajon Rondo'' (5,783) * 26. Don Chaney (5,689) * 27. Dee Brown (basketball, born 1968), Dee Brown (5,512) * 28. Larry Siegfried (5,420) * 29. K.C. Jones (5,011) * 30. ''Avery Bradley'' (5,008) * 31. Kevin Gamble (4,895) * 32. Rick Fox (4,759) * 33. Tiny Archibald (4,550) * 34. ''Isaiah Thomas (basketball), Isaiah Thomas'' (4,422) * 35. Eric Williams (basketball, born 1972), Eric Williams (4,248) * 36. Marcus Smart (3,950) * 37.
Jayson Tatum Jayson Christopher Tatum (born March 3, 1998) is an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, compete ...
(3,902) * 38.
Paul Silas Paul Theron Silas (born July 12, 1943) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any person ...
(3,744) * 39. Dino Radja (3,733) * 40.
Jaylen Brown Jaylen Marselles Brown (born October 24, 1996) is an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any pe ...
(3,655) * 41.
Gerald Henderson Jerome McKinley "Gerald" Henderson Sr. (born January 16, 1956) is an American retired basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, cou ...
(3,521) * 42. ''Jeff Green (basketball), Jeff Green'' (3,252) * 43. Brandon Bass (3,216) * 44.
Chris Ford Christopher Joseph Ford (born January 11, 1949) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, c ...
(3,194) * 45. Jim Loscutoff (3,156) * 46. Dana Barros (3,109) * 47. ''Kyrie Irving'' (3,062) * 48. Sherman Douglas (2,981) * 49. Ricky Davis (2,940) * 50. Steve Kuberski (2,929) Other statistics (regular season) (as of the end of the 2019–20 season)


Coaches


Head coaches

There have been 17 head coaches in Celtics' history.
Red Auerbach Arnold Jacob "Red" Auerbach (September 20, 1917 – October 28, 2006) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Baske ...
is the most successful franchise's head coach having won 9 NBA championships with the team. Celtics' legend
Bill Russell William Felton Russell (born February 12, 1934) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, court, ...

Bill Russell
took coaching duties from Auerbach and led them to 2 NBA championships while playing and coaching at the same time. The other two coaches that won 2 NBA titles with the team are
Tom Heinsohn Thomas William Heinsohn (August 26, 1934 – November 9, 2020) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court ...

Tom Heinsohn
and K. C. Jones. Both
Bill Fitch William Charles Fitch (born May 19, 1932) is an American former National Basketball Association (NBA) coach who had been successful in developing a number of teams into playoff contenders. Before entering the professional ranks, he coached college ...
and Doc Rivers led the Celtics to 1 NBA championship the latter being the most recent coach to do so.
Brad Stevens Bradley Kent Stevens (born October 22, 1976) is an American professional basketball coach and former College athletics, collegiate player who is the head coach of the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Born and raised ...
is the team's current head coach.


Assistant coaches


Logos and uniforms


Logos

The Boston Celtics logo since 1968 features a leprechaun spinning a basketball, named Lucky, originally depicted with a large basketball for a background. It was originally designed by Zang Auerbach, the brother of Celtics head coach
Red Auerbach Arnold Jacob "Red" Auerbach (September 20, 1917 – October 28, 2006) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Baske ...
. Through the 1995–96 NBA season, 1995–96 season, the logo's only colors were black, white and green. Then for the 1996–97 NBA season, 1996–97 season, celebrating the club's 50th anniversary, the logo got a full-color treatment. Lucky's face and hands were both painted tan, while gold was included on the vest, bow tie and hat, as well as brown on the ball and shillelagh (club), shillelagh, and black on its pants and shoes. The Celtics also have various alternative logos, with the most popular being a white shamrock with the letters "Celtics" above it, wrapped in a green circle, which has been used since the 1998–99 NBA season, 1998–99 season. The alternate logo is based on logos used by the Celtics before they used the Zang Auerbach leprechaun. For much of its history, the shamrock was trimmed in gold, as seen in the old team warmup jackets. A new secondary logo, unveiled in 2014, featured a variation of the leprechaun logo, in silhouette form.


Uniforms


Primary uniforms

For much of their history, the Celtics wore green uniforms on the road and white uniforms at home. The basic template of the current Celtics' uniforms were formalized in the 1950s, and along the way they made a few adjustments in the lettering and stripes. Among the more notable changes in the uniforms were the switch from serifed to sans-serif block lettering in 1968, the addition of names in 1972, and the incorporation of the three-leaf shamrock logo in 1998. While the white uniforms remained largely intact, the green uniforms have featured either the city name (1950s–1965; 2014–present) or the team name (1965–2014). When Nike, Inc., Nike became the NBA's uniform provider in 2017, they decided to eliminate the "home" and "away" uniform designations. Thus the white Celtics uniforms became known as the "Association" uniforms while the green uniforms became the "Icon" uniforms. Both sets are now used regardless of home and road games. In January 2017, the Celtics signed a multi-year deal with General Electric where they became the "exclusive Data and Analytics partner" for the team. As part of the deal, GE agreed to pay the Celtics more than $7 million per year to have the uniforms with a GE logo prominently placed on the left shoulder of jerseys in green and white. This was the first time a corporate logo were placed on the game uniforms. Along with the GE logo, the Nike logo now emblazons the right shoulder of the Celtics' uniforms. In November 2020, the Celtics signed a multi-year deal with Vistaprint who became the main jersey sponsor of the team.


Alternate uniforms

From 2005 to 2017, the Celtics wore alternate green uniforms with black lettering and trim featuring the word "Boston" on the front side. One noticeable difference in the alternate uniforms were the black panels with a green shamrock, reminiscent of the original Celtics uniforms worn in the late 1940s. A gray uniform set was also used from 2014 to 2017. Dubbed "Parquet Pride", the uniforms featured sleeves (a prominent figure in Adidas' NBA uniforms), white letters with green trim, the silhouetted leprechaun logo on the shorts, the shamrock logo on the left leg, and a parquet-like pattern on the sides. For 2017 and beyond, the Celtics will wear black "Statement" uniforms (labeled by Nike in reference to the league's third jerseys). Its features include green letters with white trim, green panels with black shamrock and white player names. The team name is prominently featured in front. Starting in 2021, the "Statement" uniform would feature the Air Jordan, Jordan Brand logo, a feature previously exclusive to the
Charlotte Hornets The Charlotte Hornets are an American professional basketball team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Hornets compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference (NBA), Eastern Conference Sou ...
uniforms.


Special uniforms

Between 2006 and 2017, the Celtics wore special Saint Patrick's Day in the United States#Basketball, St. Patrick's Day uniforms. The initial uniforms were worn from 2006 to 2013 and it strongly resembled their regular green uniforms save for gold and white trim and the city name in front. For 2014 and 2015, the uniforms were sleeved, replaced the city name in front in favor of the team name, and now resembled their green/black alternates. In 2016 and 2017, the uniforms were again sleeveless and featured the city name in front, but kept the previous striping. During the 2007 NBA Europe Live Tour, NBA Europe Live Tour prior to the 2007–08 NBA season, 2007–08 season, the Celtics used the alternate road jerseys in their game against the Toronto Raptors in Rome, except that the words "Boston" on the front side of the jersey and the shamrock on the shorts and on the reverse side of the jersey contained the green, white and red Flag of Italy, tricolors of the Flag of Italy, Italian flag. In the second game in London, the regular road jerseys featured a patch containing the Union Jack. At the 2008–09 NBA season, 2008–09 season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Celtics wore a modified version of their home uniforms, accented with gold, to commemorate last season's championship team. The Celtics have also worn special edition National Basketball Association Christmas games, Christmas Day uniforms since the 2008–09 season. For the first four games, they wore their regular green uniforms modified with the NBA logo inside a snowflake. Then in the 2012–13 NBA season, 2012–13 season, they wore monochrome uniforms with green lettering trimmed in white. For the 2016–17 NBA season, 2016–17 season, the Celtics wore a special green uniform with a more ornate script lettering, but without the additional striping. Starting with the 2017–18 season, the Celtics wore special edition "City" uniforms designed by Nike. Their first "City" uniforms were in gray and featured a pattern of the parquet floor throughout, a green shamrock with white trim on the left leg, green letters with white trim, Red Auerbach's signature near the uniform tag, and a portion of the 2008 championship banner on the beltline. For the 2018–19 season, the Celtics wore white "City" uniforms with green letters and shamrocks trimmed in gold. It also has Red Auerbach's signature near the uniform tag and a gold-trimmed alternate Celtics logo on the beltline. In addition, the Celtics wore an "Earned" edition uniform exclusive only to the 16 teams that made the 2018 NBA playoffs. Their rendition is a palette swap of the "City" uniforms with a green base and gold letters and shamrocks with white trim. The Celtics' "City" uniform for the 2019–20 season featured a green base and a stylized "Boston" wordmark and numbers in gold with black trim. A Celtic knot in the shape of a shamrock adorn the beltline. The 2020–21 Celtics' "City" uniform was patterned after the 17 championship banners that adorn the TD Garden rafters. The uniform, which is white with thick green stripes, features the full name in Futura (typeface), Futura Condensed stacked in front, and Red Auerbach's signature and quote "The Boston Celtics are not a basketball team. They're a way of life." appears above the manufacturer's tag. The Celtics also released a second "Earned" uniform after qualifying in the 2020 NBA playoffs; this design features a dark green base with Celtic and lime green striping, and the letters were rendered in Celtic green with white trim.


Memorial patches

During the 2006–07 NBA season, 2006–07 season, the Celtics wore a commemorative patch of a black shamrock with the nickname "Red" in green letters on the right top of the jersey in remembrance of
Red Auerbach Arnold Jacob "Red" Auerbach (September 20, 1917 – October 28, 2006) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Baske ...
, who died shortly prior to the beginning of the season. The team has honored deceased members of the Celtics family with a commemorative black band on the left shoulder strap of the jersey. It has been featured ten times to date: Walter A. Brown, Walter Brown (1964–65 NBA season, 1964–65), Robert Schmertz, Bob Schmertz (1975–76 NBA season, 1975–76), Joan Cohen ( 1989–90), Johnny Most and
Reggie Lewis Reginald C. Lewis (November 21, 1965 – July 27, 1993) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court, cou ...

Reggie Lewis
( 1993–94), Dorothy Auerbach (2000–01 NBA season, 2000–01), Dennis Johnson (2006–07 NBA season, 2006–07), Jim Loscutoff (2015–16 NBA season, 2015–16),
Jo Jo White Joseph Henry White (November 16, 1946 – January 16, 2018) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court ...
(2017–18 NBA season, 2017–18),
John Havlicek John Joseph Havlicek ( ; April 8, 1940 – April 25, 2019) was an American professional basketball player who List of NBA players who have spent their entire career with one franchise, spent his entire career with the Boston Celtics, winning List ...
(2018–19 NBA season, 2018–19),
Tom Heinsohn Thomas William Heinsohn (August 26, 1934 – November 9, 2020) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Basketball court ...

Tom Heinsohn
, and K. C. Jones (both 2020–21 NBA season, 2020–21). During the 2019–20 NBA season, 2019–20 season, the Celtics wore a black band in honor of two people who had never been part of the Celtics organization; former NBA commissioner David Stern and former
Los Angeles Lakers The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Lakers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference (NBA), Western Conference Pacific Division ...

Los Angeles Lakers
star Kobe Bryant. The Celtics have also worn a black band for reasons not directly related to the franchise, such as the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, and the death of Isaiah Thomas (basketball), Isaiah Thomas' younger sister during the 2017 NBA playoffs.


Uniform traditions

The team also had the tradition of wearing black sneakers through most of their history, except from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s, when they wore green sneakers. According to legend, Celtics patriarch
Red Auerbach Arnold Jacob "Red" Auerbach (September 20, 1917 – October 28, 2006) was an American professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular Baske ...
had a problem with the white sneakers, claiming that the white sneakers can easily get dirty; hence starting a long tradition with the black sneakers. But prior to the 2003–04 NBA season, 2003–04 season, current Celtics general manager Danny Ainge and captain
Paul Pierce Paul Anthony Pierce (born October 13, 1977) is an American former professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is an ...

Paul Pierce
suggested wearing white sneakers, in due part to a growing number of teams wearing black sneakers. Auerbach gladly accepted and the white sneakers have remained since on home games. They still wore the black sneakers on away games, but in the 2008–09 NBA season, 2008–09 season, they wore white sneakers with green and gold accents while wearing their St. Patrick's Day jerseys on the road. Most recently, when the Celtics play on National Basketball Association Christmas games, Christmas Day, they wore white or green sneakers with red and gold accents. Since the 2009–10 season, the NBA relaxed its rules on specified sneaker colors, and Celtics players are now seen wearing custom-made and personalized sneakers at home and on the road, although for the most part they wear either green, white or black sneakers. The Celtics were the only team to wear warmup jackets with the player names on the back. During the 1980s, this style was dominant in most NBA warmup jackets, but by the late 1990s, this style gradually declined. The Celtics, however, kept the design in keeping with tradition, before discontinuing the practice after the 2011–12 season in favor of a templated jacket design common to all 30 teams.


Television and radio

NBC Sports Boston is the Boston Celtics' main television outlet, having aired its games since 1981 when the station was known as PRISM New England. In 1983, it rebranded as SportsChannel New England. Like all the other SportsChannel networks, the New England channel was rebranded as Fox Sports Net, Fox Sports New England when former owner Cablevision entered into a partnership with Liberty Media and News Corporation (1980–2013), News Corporation in 1998. Comcast purchased Cablevision's original network stake in 2001, then acquired the remaining stake in what was now Fox Sports Networks, FSN New England in 2007 and rebranded the network as Comcast SportsNet New England. In 2017, all CSN networks (including CSN New England) were renamed as NBC Sports Regional Networks in reference to Comcast's current ownership of NBCUniversal. Mike Gorman provides the play-by-play with former Celtics' player Brian Scalabrine serving as analyst. All Celtics games are heard on radio through Beasley Broadcast Group's WBZ-FM (98.5, otherwise branded as "The Sports Hub"), with play-by-play from Sean Grande and color commentary from
Cedric Maxwell Cedric Bryan Maxwell (born November 21, 1955) is an American retired professional basketball Basketball is a team sport in which two teams, most commonly of five players each, opposing one another on a rectangular court A court is any ...
, a deal in place since the 2013–14 season.


Management


Ownership history

*''Sale not approved by NBA''


Team presidents


General managers


Other


Medical staff


Team physicians


Team athletic trainers


Boston Celtics Communications

Boston Celtics Communications is a broadcasting division of the Celtics. In September 1989, the team through its owners,
Don Gaston Don F. Gaston is an American businessman who served as an Executive Vice President of Gulf and Western Industries and Chairman of the Boston Celtics. Early life Gaston grew up in Nacogdoches, Texas. In 1954 he graduated from Stephen F. Austin State ...
, Alan N. Cohen and Paul Dupee acquired radio station WEEI (on the 590 frequency now known as WEZE) from CBS Radio, as well as Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox affiliated station WFXT from Fox Television Stations. The sale was completed on May 10, 1990. CBS discontinued its association with WEEI that year, and they instead joined ABC News Radio, ABC Direction. WEEI, which had already carried Celtics broadcasts since 1987, expanded its sports programming to cover the
Boston Bruins The Boston Bruins are a professional ice hockey Ice hockey is a contact Contact may refer to: Interaction Physical interaction * Contact (geology)A geological contact is a boundary which separates one rock body from another. A contac ...
and certain ''Sports Byline USA'' and Westwood One (1976–2011)#Live concerts and sports broadcasts, CBS Radio Sports broadcasts. However, WEEI was sold off in 1994, and would later reemerge as the name of an ESPN-radio affiliate, WEEI (AM), Sportsradio 850 WEEI. WFXT continued to carry the Fox network programming; however, during the team's ownership of the station, they broadcast the team's games and they also had a news share agreement with regional United States cable news, cable news channel New England Cable News in 1993. WFXT meanwhile was reacquired by Fox Television Stations group, and once again was Fox Owned-and-operated station, owned-and-operated from 1995.


See also

* The Auerbach Center, official Celtics practice facility (opened June 2018) * The Sports Museum (at TD Garden) * Reebok Pro Summer League, a former summer league operated by the Celtics *List of Boston Celtics head coaches, List of Boston Celtics Head Coaches *Boston Celtics draft history, Boston Celtics Draft History *Celtics–Lakers rivalry, Celtics-Lakers Rivalry *Boston Celtics all-time roster, Boston Celtics All-Time Roster *
Boston Garden Boston Garden was an arena An arena is a large enclosed platform, often circular or oval-shaped, designed to showcase theatre, musical performances, or sporting events. It is composed of a large open space surrounded on most or al ...
*
TD Garden TD Garden is a multi-purpose arena An arena is a large enclosed platform, often circular or oval-shaped, designed to showcase theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usual ...
*Boston Celtics Radio Network *Sports in Boston


Notes


References


External links

* {{Authority control Boston Celtics, Irish-American organizations Irish-American culture in sports Irish-American history National Basketball Association teams Basketball teams established in 1946 1946 establishments in Massachusetts Basketball teams in Boston, Celtics Basketball Association of America teams