September 28, 2020

Getting to Know the Boston Celtics

NBA franchise since 1946 – Boston (1946-present)

Distinguished by far more than just one or two winning dynasties, the Boston Celtics lay claim to virtually every superlative that can be reasonably applied to a professional sports team. Their domination has spanned decades at a time, and has resulted in more NBA championships than can be claimed by any other organization.

The Celtics’ might first emerged in the 1950s, when such fabled competitors as Bill Russell, Bob Cousy and Tommy Heinsohn — under Hall of Fame coach Red Auerbach — joined to compile eleven championships in thirteen seasons (1957-69).

After a few years’ lapse, mid-1970s trophies came to Boston Garden through the efforts of Coach Heinsohn — successor in that role to Auerbach and Russell — and star players that included John Havlicek, Dave Cowens and Jo Jo White.

The 1980s saw a new squad form for Coach K.C. Jones under Auerbach’s expert direction as General Manager. Larry Bird’s impact on the NBA was quick and dramatic, and this exciting athlete’s talents were complemented by those of Robert Parish and Nate Archibald.

Inevitably, the team endured a drought of sorts for a number of years while the organization regrouped and put together yet another winning formula. Coach Doc Rivers and G.M. Danny Ainge — working with a roster highlighted by Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen — posted a record of 66-16 in 2007/08. (This marked a record-breaking improvement over the previous year’s woeful 24-58 tally.) The Celtics won the NBA title for 2008, and at least made the playoffs in each of the next four seasons.

As it carries on its incredible legacy, this proud franchise is always ready to adapt, grow and excel!

Seventeen-time NBA championship winners: 1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1981, 1984, 1986, 2008.

Home Venues: TD Garden (1995-present), Hartford Civic Center (1975-95), Boston Garden (1946-95), Boston Arena (1946-55).

Retired Numbers: Robert Parish, 9-time All-Star (00), Walter A. Brown, team founder (1), Red Auerbach, Head Coach, 16-time NBA Champion coach/executive, 11-time NBA All-Star Game Head Coach (2), Dennis Johnson, 5-time All-Star (3), Bill Russell, 5-time NBA MVP, 12-time All-Star (6), Jo Jo White, 7-time All-Star (10), Bob Cousy, 1957 NBA MVP, 13-time All-Star (14), Tom Heinsohn, 6-time All-Star (15), Satch Sanders (16), John Havlicek, 13-time All-Star (17), Dave Cowens, 1973 NBA MVP, 7-time All-Star (18), Don Nelson (19), Bill Sharman, 8-time All-Star (21), Ed Macauley, 7-time All-Star (22), Frank Ramsey (23), Sam Jones, 5-time All-Star (24), K.C. Jones, 10-time NBA Champions player/coach, 6-time NBA All-Star Game Head Coach (25), Cedric Maxwell (31), Kevin McHale, 7-time All-Star (32), Larry Bird, 3-time NBA MVP, 12-time All-Star (33), Reggie Lewis, 1992 All-Star (35).

Additional Hall of Famers: Andy Phillip, John “Honey” Russell, Bill Mokray, Bob Houbregs, Bailey Howell, Pete Maravich, Clyde Lovellette, Dave Bing, Dominique Wilkins, Arnie Risen, Bill Walton, Wayne Embry, Bob McAdoo, Nate Archibald, Alvin “Doggie” Julian, John Thompson, Dave Gavitt, Dennis Johnson, Rick Pitino.

HOF Curt Gowdy Media Award: Curt Gowdy, Johnny Most, Bob Ryan, Jackie MacMullan.

HOF John Bunn Award: Curt Gowdy, Red Auerbach, Bob Cousy, Dave Gavitt.

Notables: Chuck Cooper (one of the NBA’s first African-American players), Paul Silas, Irving Levin, Don Gaston, M.L. Carr, Bill Fitch, Len Bias (1986 draft pick), Susan Sykes, Chris Ford, Jim O’Brien, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett.

Current Stars: Brad Stevens (head coach), Rajon Rondo, Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger, Kelly Olynyk.

Rivalries: Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers.

Source by Richard David Altman

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