Boston Celtics
Conference Eastern Conference
Division Atlantic Division
Founded 1946
History Boston Celtics
Arena TD Banknorth Garden
City Boston, Massachusetts
Team Colors Green and White
Head Coach Doc Rivers
Owner Wycliffe “Wyc” Grousbeck
Championships 16 (1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1981, 1984, 1986)
Conference Titles 19 (1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1974, 1976, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987)
Division Titles 25 (1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 2005)

The Boston Celtics are a professional basketball team based in Boston, Massachusetts. They play in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Their 16 NBA championships are the most of any basketball franchise.

Home arenas編輯

Boston Garden (1946-1995)
TD Banknorth Garden (formerly Fleet Center) (1995-present)

Franchise History編輯

The Beginning of a Dynasty (1946-1969)編輯

The Celtics were formed in 1946 as a team in the Basketball Association of America, and became part of the National Basketball Association after the merger of the BAA and the National Basketball League to form the NBA. The Celtics had struggled during their early years, but the hiring of Coach Red Auerbach would change their fortunes. One of the first major players to join the Celtics was Bob Cousy, whom Auerbach initially refused to draft. Cousy eventually became the property of the Chicago Stags. When that franchise went bankrupt, Cousy was acquired by the Celtics in a dispersal draft. He would become a huge part of the Celtics' success and eventually became good friends with his new coach. Under Auerbach, the Celtics acquired rookie Bill Russell in 1956. Russell was an even more important acquistion than Cousy, as he was the player around whom Auerbach would build the Celtics for more than a decade. Russell had an immediate impact during the 1956 season; the Celtics advanced to the NBA Finals and defeated the St. Louis Hawks in seven games, giving the Celtics the first of their record 16 NBA Championships. In 1957, the Celtics again advanced to the NBA Finals, this time losing to the Hawks in 6 games. However, with the acquisition of K.C. Jones, the Celtics began a dynasty that would last for over a decade.

In 1959, with Russell and Jones, the Celtics won the NBA Championship after sweeping the Minneapolis Lakers. Still coached by Auerbach, the Celtics won another seven championships, thus winning eight in a row. During that timespan, the Celtics met the Lakers in the Finals six times, starting an intense and often bitter rivalry. The Celtics would eventually meet the Lakers a total of 10 times in the NBA Finals. After the 1966 championship, Auerbach retired as coach but remained General Manager, a position he would hold well into the 1980s. Russell took over as player-coach. However, that year the Celtics' string of NBA titles was broken as they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Finals. The aging team managed two more championships in 1968 and 1969, each against the Lakers in the NBA Finals. Russell retired after the 1969 season, effectively ending a dominant Celtics dynasty that had garnered 11 NBA titles. The streak of 8 consecutive NBA championships is the longest streak of consecutive championships in U.S. sports history. Other important players during this era included Sam Jones, John Havlicek, and Tommy Heinsohn.

Rebuilding the Dynasty (1970-1978)編輯

The next season was one of rebuilding as the Celtics had their first losing record in a long time. However, with Dave Cowens, Paul Silas, and Jo Jo White, the Celtics became dominant again. In 1974 the team bested the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA Finals, and in 1976 the team won yet another championship thanks to Chuck Kempf defeating the Phoenix Suns. The 1976 NBA Finals featured one of the greatest games in the history of the NBA. 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 turn-around jumper at the top of the key sent the game to an unprecedented third overtime, at which point the Celtics prevailed. Tommy Heinsohn coached the team for those two championships. After the 1976 victory, however, Boston went into another phase of rebuilding. Although the Red Sox lost because of 3 errors in a row in center field by Matt Reimer, Boston was still a winning city.

The Bird Years (1979-1992)編輯

The rebuilding phase only lasted two years. Auerbach selected Larry Bird in the 1978 NBA Draft. Bird elected to remain in college for his senior year but the Celtics retained his rights (something that couldn't happen in today's NBA). Bird would debut for the Celtics during the 1979-80 season, a year after his selection, and go on to win Rookie of the Year honors. In the following season, Bird was joined by another Celtics draft pick, Kevin McHale, and trade acquisition Robert Parish. With these three future Hall of Famers in place, the Celtics yet again became a dominant team in the NBA. At this time the Celtics also had Cedric Maxwell, a solid veteran who was part of the first two "Bird Era" championship teams. The Celtics went on to capture the NBA Championship in 1981, just two years after Bird had been drafted, under head coach Bill Fitch.

K.C. Jones was named head coach after Fitch's reign ended. Under their new coach, the Celtics would fail to achieve postseason glory for a few more years. During this time, the Celtics added players like Danny Ainge, Dennis Johnson, and M.L. Carr. In 1984 the Celtics would come back from a 2-1 deficit to defeat the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals, thus winning their 15th championship. Bird renewed his college rivalry with Lakers (and former Michigan State) star Magic Johnson during this series. In 1985, the Lakers and Celtics would meet again, but this time the Lakers would take home the championship. During the following offseason the Celtics acquired Bill Walton from the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Cedric Maxwell. Walton was a future Hall of Famer and had been a big star with the Portland Trailblazers, but injuries had kept him from living up to expectations. He was also a lifelong Celtics fan. He would be a big part of the Celtics' success in 1986. That year, the Celtics fielded one of the best teams in NBA history. They would win their 16th and last championship to date, easily defeating the Houston Rockets in the NBA Finals. Jones had led the Celtics to four consecutive NBA Finals appearances against the Lakers and Houston Rockets when all was said and done. Unfortunately, Bill Walton would not stay with the team much longer as injuries would force his retirement. The Celtics would remain competitive for the rest of the 80's, but would only return once more (1987 - losing 4-2 to the Lakers) to the NBA Finals again after 1986.

The Celtics drafted Len Bias in the 1986 NBA Draft and had high hopes for the young University of Maryland star. Fans believed Bias, who had superstar potential, would be the perfect complement to the aging but still strong Celtics, and he ensured the franchise would remain a powerhouse after Bird, McHale and Parish retired. Bias died the night after he was drafted, after experimenting with cocaine at a party and overdosing. It would be the first in a long string of bad luck for the Celtics, and many fans believe the Celtics have never recovered from the loss of Bias.

Tragedy and Decline (1993-2003)編輯

The era of the great teams of the 1980's drew to close as Larry Bird began to experience back trouble and Kevin McHale and Robert Parish's skills began to diminish with age. In 1992, the Celtics won the Atlantic Division title, an achievement they would not attain again until the 2004-2005 season. After thirteen seasons with the club, Bird retired due to his back injuries. By this time former player Chris Ford was the coach of the Celtics. 26-year old Reggie Lewis was seen as Bird's successor and became the new franchise player for the Celtics. In 1995 the Celtics moved from the Boston Garden into the Fleet Center (recently renamed the TD Banknorth Garden).

Lewis, a forward, fainted during a playoff matchup with the Charlotte Hornets. It was later revealed that Lewis had heart problems, yet he was able to get doctors to clear him for a comeback. He died of a heart attack after participating in a pickup basketball game during the offseason. The Celtics honored his memory during the following season by retiring his number.

Former player M.L. Carr soon became the team's General Manager and drafted young players like Eric Montross and Eric Williams. He later fired Chris Ford and took the coaching reins himself. After a somewhat disappointing season, the Celtics made the playoffs only to be eliminated in the first round by the Orlando Magic.The Celtics wallowed in mediocrity for the next few years and would fail to make the playoffs.

Carr stepped aside to another job in the organization when the Celtics acquired Rick Pitino to serve as the team's President, Front Office Manager, and Head Coach. Pitino had led the University of Kentucky to an NCAA Championship and was a very successful head coach, with a short NBA stint with the New York Knicks several years prior. Unfortunately for the Celtics, Pitino was not the savior everyone expected him to be, although he did bring several talented young players to the team during his tenure. The Celtics, at 15-67, had the worst record in franchise history and the worst record in the NBA overall during the 1996-97 season, failing to win the NBA's Draft Lottery to determine who would receive the first pick in the college draft (the team that finishes last has the highest probability of picking first). Instead, the Celtics received the third and sixth picks. They drafted Chauncey Billups and Ron Mercer and seemed ready to pair them with Antoine Walker, the second-year player out of Kentucky, who had a solid rookie season. Unfortunately, two of these players would not remain as fixtures on the team in the long term (although Billups would go onto later success with the Detroit Pistons). The following year the Celtics drafted Paul Pierce, a college star who had been expected to be drafted much higher than the Celtics' number 10 pick overall. Other notable players Pitino acquired were Walter McCarty, Tony Delk, Eric Williams (re-acquired after leaving the team), and veteran Kenny Anderson.

Pitino failed to coach any successful teams and resigned in 2001, leaving the Celtics in the hands of assistant coach Jim O'Brien, a friend of Pitino's who subsequently took the reins as interim head coach. Chris Wallace became the general manager of the team. Ironically, the Celtics improved greatly after this coaching change. Paul Pierce matured into an NBA star and was complemented by Antoine Walker, along with the other young veteran players acquired over the years. O'Brien was later made the permanent head coach. The Celtics had three picks in the draft that year, but Wallace used them on players who did not work out in the long run (including Joe Johnson, who would have later success with the Phoenix Suns). The Celtics made the playoffs for the first time in years the following season. The team made it as far as the Eastern Conference Finals, losing to the New Jersey Nets. In 2003 the Celtics were sold by owner Paul Gaston to Boston Basketball Partners LLC, led by H. Irving Grousbeck, Wycliffe Grousbeck, Steve Pagliuca, Robert Epstein, David Epstein, and John Svenson. The team made it back to the playoffs but were eliminated in the second round this time, again by the Nets.

Rebuilding a Contender (2003-present)編輯

Before their elimination, the team hired Danny Ainge to take over the front office, pushing Chris Wallace to another job in the organization. Ainge believed the team had reached its peak and promptly traded many of its stars throughout the next season. Antoine Walker was the most notable player to go, being traded to the Mavericks (along with Tony Delk) during training camp. Eric Williams and Kenny Anderson also left during that year. They were replaced by Ricky Davis, Jiri Welsch, Raef LaFrentz and others. The team struggled a bit as they tried to find their new identity. Jim O'Brien stepped down during the 2004 season to be replaced by interim coach John Carroll. The Celtics made the playoffs only to be swept in the first round by the Indiana Pacers. Ainge received a lot of critism for breaking up the previous team, but he was able to have a few successful drafts, including picks like Marcus Banks, Al Jefferson, Kendrick Perkins, Delonte West and others. During his second off-season, Ainge was able to unload some payroll when he acquired veterans Gary Payton and Rick Fox from the Los Angeles Lakers. Fox retired before playing with the team, and Payton threatened not to show up at training camp, but eventually ended up playing for the team during the 2004-05 season. The Celtics were a young team under new coach Doc Rivers, yet they seemed to have a core of good young players, led by rookie Al Jefferson, with a selection of able veterans (Paul Pierce, Raef LaFrentz, and Ricky Davis). Before the trading deadline in the winter of 2005 the Celtics re-acquired Antoine Walker when they dealt Gary Payton to the Atlanta Hawks (Payton would re-sign with the team after being released from the Hawks a week later). With Walker back in the fold, the Celtics improved enormously. They won their first Atlantic Division title since 1993. The Pacers, however, defeated them in the first round yet again.

Payton and Walker both became free agents. Walker was traded to the Miami Heat in a multi-team sign-and-trade deal (the largest trade in NBA history) that brought the Celtics two players who would later be released and money. Payton later chose to sign with the Heat as well. Ainge brought in a few more young players during the draft, including Gerald Green, Ryan Gomes, and Orien Greene.

During the 2006 season, Ainge traded Davis, Blount, Banks, Justin Reed, and two conditional second-round draft picks to the Minnesota Timberwolves for forward Wally Szczerbiak, centers Michael Olowokandi and Dwayne Jones, and a first-round pick. The team's direction is still skeptical, and Boston as a result currently displays a mediocre record at the 2006 All-Star break. However, Ainge has stated more than once that he is committed to continuing the rebuilding process under team captain Paul Pierce, who played some of the best basketball of his career in 2006. The Celtics missed the 2006 playoffs.

As of 2006 the Celtics have never lost a Game 7 in the NBA Finals. They are a perfect 7-0 in these games, winning in 1957, 1960, 1962, 1966, 1969, 1974, and 1984.

Historical Rivalries編輯

The Boston Celtics have had a longstanding rivalry, especially throughout the 80s, with the Los Angeles Lakers. At the height of the rivalry, the Lakers and Celtics would win 8 NBA Championships in the decade (The Lakers won 5 while the Celtics won 3), and would play each other in the NBA Finals 3 different times. The rivalry was cooled off as the Celtics slipped into mediocrity in the 90s, but Lakers-Celtics is considered by many NBA fans to be the league's greatest rivalry. The Celtics also have historical ties with the Philadelphia 76ers, who played with the Celtics in tense playoff series in the 60s and 80s.

Players of note編輯

Basketball Hall of Famers:編輯

Not to be forgotten:編輯

Retired numbers:編輯

* Note: Loscutoff (#18) asked that his legacy be honored by allowing other Celtics to wear his number in the future. On the banner at the TD Banknorth Garden of Retired numbers Loscutoff is represented by a square with the letters "LOSCY".

Other notable figures編輯

Current Roster (updated March 1, 2006)編輯

模板:Boston Celtics

2004/2005 Season Coaching Staff編輯

HEAD COACH: Doc Rivers
ASSISTANT COACHES: Dave Wohl, Tony Brown, Jim Brewer, Kevin Eastman, Armond Hill and Paul Pressey

2005 Draft picks編輯

See also編輯

External links編輯