Celtics - Team History

Bird McHale

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In 1946, the Boston Celtics became one of the original teams in the Basketball Association of America, known today as the NBA. The Celtics were started by Walter Brown, a man who was also involved with the Boston Bruins hockey team. But many Celtics fans believe that the real birth of the team was in 1950 when Mr. Brown hired a man named Arnold "Red" Auerbach as the Celtics head coach.

Walter Brown and Red Auerbach are considered by many fans to be the two most important people in the team's history, so the numbers 1 (for Brown) and 2 (for Auerbach) are retired in their honor and hung from the Garden rafters. This is a tradition at the Garden, and the numbers of many former Celtics players and coaches are retired as well.

Red Auerbach was a fantastic coach and he led the team to nine NBA Championship titles! Since Red gave up the position of head coach, the Celtics have won eight more Championships, for a total of 17 NBA titles. That's more than any other team in the league!

The Celtics have had so many great players throughout the team's history. A few that you might have heard of are Bill Russell, JoJo White, Bob Cousy, Tom Heinsohn, Kevin McHale, Larry Bird, Robert Parish. You can read more about these players and other former Celtics team members here.

Here are a few cool facts about YOUR favorite team:

  • The first two NBA All-Star games were held right here in Boston in 1951 and 1952. This year's All-Star game will be in Los Angeles, California.
  • 31 former Celtics players are in the basketball Hall of Fame.
  • The Celtics have retired the numbers of 22 former players.
  • Danny Ainge, the General Manager of the Celtics, used to be a Celtics player himself!
  • Celtics Captain Paul Pierce was drafted (chosen) by the Celtics in 1998 and he won his first NBA Championship with the team 10 years later in 2008.

To read more about the history of the Celtics, click here.

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